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Chichibu ‘The Peated’ 5 yo (2013/2018, OB, 55,5%)

Last week we published the review of the Chichibu Paris Edition 2019, remembering a beautiful online tasting at the beginning of July – today we taste the last of the three whiskies we had that night (the first one will arrive soon), The Peated, release 2018. It was a 5 years old whisky, distiller from peated barley and bottled at cask strength, in the year of the 10th anniversary of the most craft and talked about distillery in Japan.

N: a refreshing whisky. The first sensation, in fact, is of something herbaceous and fresh, between lemongrass and something balsamic (chlorophyll chewing gum). Burnt thyme. Citrus Yogurt (Yomo anyone?). Then all the sugary and creamy part that comes from the barrels: and then vanilla and coconut, custard. A sense of toasting, of embers, of wood in bonfires.

P: very consistent, explosive at first. Very balanced, the palate remains quite sharp: there are grassy notes, there is a lot of burnt wood and peat (some things almost remind us of Laphroaig, almost medicinal); smoked scamorza cheese. It remains quite dry, the sweet and fruity part of the nose here remain on the sidelines, leaving only an abstract sense of sugar. Lovely.

F: lots of peat, clean and didactic, then ink and some smoked scamorza cheese. Wet rocks.

As usual with Chichibu, commenting becomes a bit embarrassing: is it really a 5 years old? Seriously? On the other hand we know well that Chichibu was among the first ‘new’ distilleries to have reversed the equation: not an ‘imperfect’ spirit, suitable for long maturation and slow evolution in wood, but an exceptional white spirit, that’s already ‘ready’ to drink and mature after very few years. This production model is quite common nowadays, and we’re seeing great things coming from young distilleries, not only outside of Scotland. This Peated release is no exception, and confirms itself as a product of the highest quality: very interesting how the contribution of the barrel is felt especially on the nose, while the palate explodes in herbaceous and dry notes. A whisky that should be drunk, not crammed in the cellar. 87/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Venerus – Forse ancora dorme.

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