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Japanese Whisky Dictionary

Pure malt whisky Yamazakura 18 years old

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The Sasanogawa Brewery, famous for its Cherry Whisky, was part of the local whisky boom that was known as “Cherry in the North, Toa in the East, and Mars in the West” from 1975 to 1960.

In 2004, Mr. Ichiro Hido, who was the president of Toa Shuzo at the time, asked Sasanogawa Shuzo to take care of the whiskey stored at the Hanyu distillery due to Toa Shuzo’s poor management. The whisky was stored at the Hanyu distillery for the poor management of Toa Shuzo, and was entrusted to Sasanogawa Shuzo, which later released it as Ichirose Malt.

The Yamazakura series includes Yamazakura Blended Whisky Black Label and Yamazakura Pure Malt.

A limited release of Sanzakura 18 Year Old was released in 2018 at 25,000 yen.



The Bottle

A blend of 19 year old barleywine and 18 year old barleywine aged for 3 years in sherry casks.

This is a pure malt whisky made by blending carefully selected 19 year old barleywine with 18 year old barleywine matured in sherry casks for 3 years in a perfect ratio, and finishing with underground water from the Bandai mountain range. It is non-chill filtered and has no natural color.

It has a gorgeous and rich aroma. As you would expect from a whisky that has been aged for more than 18 years, the mouthfeel is mellow and the elegant sweetness fills the mouth. It is characterized by a gorgeous and sweet barrel aroma that allows you to feel the ripeness of the sherry barrels.



Aroma Strawberry jam, apricot, apricot, custard
Taste Ripe sweetness of fruit and mellow sweetness from the sherry cask.
Aftertaste Mild sweet oak aroma lingers for a long time.



Alcohol content 47% alcohol by volume
alcohol category Pure malt whisky
Cask type Sherry casks, etc.
Contents 700ml
Number of bottles sold Limited quantity
Suggested retail price 27,500 yen (tax included)
Release date 2018 



Our Take

The moment you open the bottle, you will be greeted with a rich and gorgeous aroma. The mouthfeel is mellow, and the aroma and taste are both fruity and elegantly sweet. This is a whiskey that should be drunk straight to enjoy its aroma.

If you add a small amount of water, the aroma will become even more pronounced, but the sweetness will fade away and the taste will become more refreshing.

When served on the rocks, the bitterness of the sherry comes out slightly, but the sweetness soon overtakes it, leaving a sweet aftertaste.

This is a well-balanced bottle with a complex flavor that is indeed 18 years old.
This bottle was released in limited quantities in 2018. It is currently a very rare bottle that is almost impossible to find even on major mail order sites.

If you like sweet whisky, or if you see it in a bar, this is a whisky you should definitely try.

Please take a look at other articles about ”yamazakura”



(All Images Courtesy of JPWhisky.net)


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