Introducing Ohishi

Round two of our single cask, rice-distilled Japanese whisky exclusives is here! And you're all going to be pretty stoked about this bottle of sherry-matured goodness. David OG's technical notes are below:

The special Ohishi distillery is located on the banks of the Kuma River one Japan's fastest flowing rivers. The distillery was founded in 1872 and produces some of the most exciting whisky coming out of Japan. Ohishi grows at least 30% of the rice that they distill and thanks to the fertile soils and exceptional growing climate make for some of the finest base ingredients available. The strain of rice is call "gohyakumanishi" (meaning 5 million stones) and utilizes an organic method of cultivation which requires the use of koi carp for weed control. The rest of the grain is procured from local farms in Kumamoto prefecture and is of the short grained Mochi varietal. The grains are partially malted and then distilled on the traditional Japanese stills before being filled into ex-sherry and brandy casks and aged for long periods of time in the high altitude warehouses. This cask brings in a great balanced sherry influence and definitely feels more like Scotch than our single cask from the Fukano Distillery. This cask will likely be the only one we get for a while considering the recent events in Kumamoto prefecture.

What do I think? 

I think this is slam dunk sherry-aged whisky for those who like that pure sherry flavor. Because the Ohishi is distilled from rice you obviously lose the inherent maltiness normally present from a barley-distilled single malt whisky, but what you get instead is a cleaner canvas onto which the sherry itself can paint its masterpiece. This is soft, supple, and rich on the palate with loads of that caramel, fudge, chocolate, and rancio character I associate with whiskies like Glendronach or Glenfarclas, but with more of that Glenmorangie or Macallan finesse. If you like sherry-aged whisky, this is a must buy. If you like Japanese whisky, buy six of these. You'll be sorry when it's gone and it goes down pretty damn easy. 644 bottles available. About 60 of those have sold already just off the website.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll