Drink Review: Suntory Yamazaki 12 Year Old

November 21, 2020
2 mins read

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One of the first Japanese single malts to break into the UK market, Suntory’s Yamazaki 12 Year Old continues to impress with its well-balanced fruity sweetness, something that appeals to novice and experienced whisky drinkers alike.

Yamazaki 12 Years Review:

The Yamazaki 12 Year Old is an old-fashioned Japanese malt whisky that is made from very limited quantities. In fact, unlike many other Japanese whiskies, you will struggle to actually find out how old it is – for some reason Suntory never age their whiskies by bottle, just by year they were bottled so you won’t know if this one is 12 or 13 year old until you buy it!

I have the pleasure to review an untasted bottle so I am in the dark about the full aging they have done here, however, aged in American white oak barrels.

Yamazaki 12 Years Review:

There are some overpowering tropical fruits on the nose, this is a slightly sweet, almost pineapple-y nose with some perfume tannins. This is a mixed-bag of tropical fruits that mixes with a slight vanilla scent to create something that is a bit hard to describe, but rather pleasant.

Yamazaki 12 Years Review:

Creamy, thick and sweet – this is a fruity blend with some delicate tasting cacao and chocolate on the palate – a very engaging mouthfeel.

I honestly would’ve given this a score of 90 if I could’ve given it a full score – it is such a well-balanced whisky, very fruity, sweet and well-balanced.

The Yamazaki 12 years finishes quite long, fruity and sweet.

Yamazaki 12 Years Review:

This is a lovely whisky that just makes you want to have another sip. A really well-balanced whisky, fruity and sweet but also crisp and smooth which finishes clean and dry.

This is a lovely, soft and fruity malt with a hint of berry and a touch of spice.

The Yamazaki 17 Year Old is a pretty tough whisky to get your hands on here in the UK – it is extremely rare and can only be bought across the pond. We can find a few drops from Japan Direct so all the more reason to try it out!

The aroma here is hard to explain – it isn’t as fruity as other whiskies in the Yamazaki series but there is a splash of fruits and something else there too, something a bit hard to put words to. It smells like an over ripe plum that has been in the sun all day.

The whisky tastes pretty similar, very vanilla and oily with a few sweet fruits – still a bit hard to describe but finishes with a touch of spice and a nice dryness. If you like sweet, oily, aromatic, fruits then you will love the 

Yamazaki 17 Years Review:

This is a lovely and impressively silky whisky that tastes of wheat, vanilla and soft, creamy fruits on the palate. So smooth and buttery, it just makes your mouth water. (Diazepam) There are some nice sweet notes on the finish that add a little more complexity to the beverage.

The Yamazaki 17 Year old is a whisky that has a fair bit of character and character, it starts off with a hint of peat, delicate fruits and silky smoothness with only a slight touch of bittering that finishes dry and delicate, but it’s the aftertaste that is here the interesting part – as you exhale the whisky is left with a nice tangy undertone that lingers nicely on your tongue.

You can tell this is a whisky that has been matured in an old oak cask – it develops some nice complexities as it develops and it really makes for a good and new experience in Japanese whisky that is well worth trying out.

Yamazaki 17 Years Review:

Yamazaki’s 18 Year Old is a malt that requires a lot of attention and deserves every bit of attention that you can give it. It is a malt that likes to develop and for me it is like a dessert, sweet and rich, smooth but still rich and sticky from the doughnuts you just finished – yummy.

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