A couple of weeks ago we posted tasting notes on an expressions from a Japanese distillery we had yet to come across: Kamiki. Kamiki is a new expression of premium Japanese style whisky blessed by Omiwa priests from Nara. Nara is the ancient capital of Japan and it holds many temples from Shinto, Tengri and Buddhist religions, which makes Nara The City of Temples.
Kamiki production is protected by Omiwa Temple priests. Omiwa is one of the oldest extant Shinto shrine in Japan over thousand years old and protecting local alcohol producers ever since. To celebrate the timeless alcohol tradition of the region, rare Japanese malt whiskies and finest malt whiskies sourced from rest of the world are blended and later fused with the highest quality pure spring water.
Nara is covered with dense Yoshino Sugi (Japanese Cedar) forests. Yoshino Sugi is used to build temples, burnt in temples to calm mind and to age local alcohol products. Following on from the Cadar Cask Finish, Kamiki has alos introduced this exciting new expression which takes brands innovative step a little further this time with a finish in Sakura wood, or Japanese Cherry Blossom as it is more commonly known.
On the nose: there is a lovely waft of spiced apples, peaches, vanilla, lemon zest and a delicate hint of lavender. These initial notes are closely followed by a perfume-like aroma, a hint of smoke, candy sticks, cinnamon, cloves and rosemary. Completing the nose are notes of jasmine oil, mint some green herbaceous and tropical notes, aniseed and some cedar wood. On the palate: notes of peaches, apricots and poached pears make an immediate appearance, closely followed by lemon zest and a touch of vanilla. Notes of cinnamon, star anise and cracked black pepper start to emerge, alongside aniseed and marmalade. Rounding-off the nose are a hint of tropical notes, green herbs, lavender, mint, parma violets and a meaty note. The finish: is medium/long, bittersweet, with lingering notes of aniseed, mint and oak.
The verdict: The Japanese are very meticulous when it comes to creating anything and this trait runs true throughout their whisky. This Kamiki Sakura & Cedar Cask Finish is a nicely balanced whisky, with tonnes of character – however, it’s not too dissimilar to their flagship expression. With an ABV of 48%, in my opinion it didn’t need any water at all. However, you may want to add just a few drops of water or leave it to breathe for 5 – 10 minutes.
Kamiki Sakure & Cedar Cask Finish Blended Malt Japanese Whisky is available online or in well-stocked Whisky Shops, for approximately £60. For more information on the Blended Malt, visit the official Kamiki website.