Yamazaki 18 years
Reviews and comments by others
The 2006 bottling got an average rating of 84/100 points ("recommendable") from 14 reviewers on the Maltmaniacs.org website. The 2004 bottling obtained an average of 87/100 ("highly recommendable") from five reviewers.Luca Chichizola, Malt Maniacs 101, February 2007. 2006 bottling. 86/100 (highly recommendable). Luca detected from the nose that it was Sherry matured and preferred it to the Yamazaki 12: "Although there is still that initial strong impression of wood varnish… and even glue! Nutty, but also drier and more winey than the younger version." He found the palate "rich and luscious, soft but intense". It was malty, but also with "many fruity notes: oranges, apples, apricots. The oak is less astringent, acidic and sharp than in the 12yo. Belgian double malt ale (Chimay?), English bitter, nuts." He said it got increasingly spicy at the finish. Overall, the age and stronger sherry input marked it out from the Yamazaki 12: "A rich after-dinner malt, but not too heavy or extreme to scare away lovers of delicate whiskies".
Serge Valentin, Whiskyfun.com, March 19, 2005. 90/100 points (excellent). "This one was matured in sherry casks. The nose is very woody, in a nice way, with some varnish, turpentine. A beautiful balance. Some very soft tannins… Extremely oaky but masterfully crafted. The mouth is superbly balanced, with lots of orange juice and spices. Creamy yet nervous, with all sorts of fruit syrups and jams. Besides, the finish is very long. I loved this one."
Michael Jackson, Whisky Magazine, 26，16/10/2002. 8/10. "Nose: Cream. Toffee. Palate: Spicy. Complex. Maple syrup. Fruity, cinnamon. Brown sugar, baclava pastry. Finish: Balancing dryness. Very slight woodiness. Firm, gripping."
Dave Broom, Whisky Magazine, 26，16/10/2002. 8/10. "Rounded and soft with a burst of spiciness mid-palate. There’s some smoke as well. Complex and soft with excellent balance. Finish: Dry, a little short? " Overall, he praised the balance "between those spicy high tones and a sweet but nutty palate" but found it "a little slick."
This Japanese language blog entry recounts a tasting of some Yamazaki with various foods: duck with a mustard and miso sauce, haggis and mashed potato, herring and marinaded salmon with roe. They found Yamazaki 18's strong well sherried character went well best with the Haggis and mashed potato! Suntory spends millions saying its malts are specially designed to suit Japanese food and they end up sitting beside plates of haggis!
43 per cent
Price (April 2007)
700 ml - 21,000 yen
(Please note the dates on reviews if they are provided. There may be significant variation between different years of a single malt brand)