- Price: $100
- This bottle is incredibly difficult to find and has high markups
- Proof: 86 (43% ABV)
- Type: Single Malt Japanese Whiskey
- Age: 12 years
- Distillery: Suntory Whiskey
- Visit the distillery page at Yamazaki 12
Nose: the nose is light but distinct. It’s one of the few whiskeys that smells flavorful and inviting. You can almost understand the other lying whiskey reviewers when they falsely claim it smells like a bunch of random things (i.e. molasses apricots on a fall morning and maple pecans roasting over an open flame…douchebags).
Palate: This is one of the best whiskeys I’ve had. There is little to no heat but the flavor profile is unique and complex. Multiple tasting notes shine with a smooth, rich palate that allows you to savor the drink. It gives you the feeling of being rich without the drawback of being an asshole. Experienced whiskey drinkers will appreciate the complexity of flavors that are tough to match at any price for a single malt. This is my go-to for guests that don’t commonly drink whiskey and reviews have consistently been positive. My heart still aligns with a bolder bourbon, but this is a fun drink for a wide audience and highly recommended.
Finish: the finish is smooth and incredibly flavorful; every drink seems perfect as more tasting notes surface. It’s effortless to drink. The only thing you ask yourself is where you can find Yamazaki, and if you reside in the U.S., the common answer is no where. I found this bottle on a business trip in Philadelphia and checked it in my luggage on areturn flight; best decision ever.
Overall Score: 9.0 (score reflects taste and price)
Yamazaki 12 is a perfectly aged and crafted Japanese single malt that exceeds most expectations. The palate is smooth with distinct, complex flavors that continue in a long-lasting finish. This is a rare find but a must-have if you spot it at the right price. Collections seem incomplete until you have this on the shelf representing the unique offerings of Japanese whiskey.
The Degenerates first tried this whiskey as a $30 pour at a dive bar on a Thursday afternoon. The drink was amazing and worth the added expenditure, but it wasn’t the most memorable part of the pub experience. Listen, Yamazaki deserves respect and adoration, but it simply doesn’t compare to a no-armed, obliterated man eating blue-cheese cheesecake off of the bar countertop and no one batting an eye. The bartender was ripping Jameson shots with a patron and took in a finger-full of cheesecake for good measure…or chaser, I’m not really sure and never will be. No one cared to I.D. the 19 year old gal seated at the bar who was crushing vodka cranberries with the same urgency of Caitlyn Jenner driving a car (RIP to the Howe family). For many, this would have been their first and last trip to the pub, but for a group of Degenerates, this was the beginning of many adventures. Yamazaki is a special drink and deserves a special story. Cheers Degenerates.