Everyone, please be upstanding for this years most outstanding whisky (so far)... the Dekanta Kamiki Intense! More to follow on this wonderful dram :-)
This evening I took part in another of Steve Rush's popular tweet tastings, where I was introduced to three expressions from Dekanta, a family company based in Japan who seek to "find new Japanese whisky and whisky for the Japanese market with genuine heritage, quality and rareness". The tasting was hosted by Steve in conjunction with Artisan Spirits Co, a "Husband & wife team dedicated to importing artisan spirits from around the world to the UK". I have to give my thanks to both @TheWhiskyWire and @ArtisanSpiritCo for introducing me to @DekantaWhisky tonight. It's been a thoroughly enjoyable experience!
As I mentioned, there were three expressions for us to sample, and my notes on each follow...
Dekanta Kamiki - NAS, 48% abv - £68.36
"Kamiki, is comprised of rare Japanese malts and carefully selected whiskies from leading distilleries from around the globe, fused together with the highest quality spring water from Japan. The Kamiki blend is then left to mature in Yoshino Sugi (Japanese Cedar) casks. This second maturation makes Kamiki the first whisky brand to be finished in Japanese Cedar. The Kamiki, recently scored 95 points at the Ultimate Spirit Challenge 2018, making it the best performing Japanese whisky, in addition to receiving a Gold at the San Diego Spirits Festival in 2017 and a Silver at IWSC."
Nose: A little nutty, with a sweet resinous pine wood thing going on. Initially quite fragrant and punchy without being overpowering.After time in the glass, it's sweeter still with overripe banana evident, but also some smoky orange zest notes too.
Palate: Ahh there is the cedar! A nice spicy, raw, young wood kick, followed by more sweet orange notes and a little café mocha.Water doesn't do much for this, it opens up a little dry smokiness, but it's perfectly quaffable without.
Finish: Drying finish, more spicy wood notes left at the end and a bitter orange tang.
Dekanta Kamiki Intense- NAS, 48% abv - £113.93 (Available to pre-order from Dekanta now)
"This edition has spent more time in the Yoshino Sugi (Japanese Cedar) casks, and as a result is said to ‘exhibit a more pronounced flavour of Japanese cedar. Kamiki Intense, was recently awarded a Platinum medal at the 2018 SIP Awards and a Silver medal at the 2018 San Fransisco World Spirits Competition."
Nose: More pungent than the Kamiki, with oily resinous tones initially followed by clear varnish notes. Much less sweetness than the previous. It's reminiscent of a smoky mezcal!
Palate: Initially sweeter than the Kamiki which surprised me. Tangy orange marmalade, less 'raw' wood, and more spice (esp. cloves) with caramelised brown sugar which has caught ever so slightly… yum!
Finish: A little less drying (still quite dry though) with some floral hibiscus notes coming through right at the end.This is a fantastic whisky! A bit different and really enjoyable.
Dekanta Kura The Whisky - NAS, 40% abv - £98.74
"Kura Japanese Malt Whisky, is a blended malt from the Helios distillery in Okinawa Japan, which is well known for producing rums and awamori (rice based drink). The Kura is comprised of 18 Year Old and younger pure malt whiskies, which have been matured in white oak casks."
Nose: Is there such a thing as sweet varnish? That's what I get initialy… then some butter, foamy beery maltiness, then a final touch of lime zest
Palate: Not as robust as the Kamiki's… lighter, with soft caramel notes and more yeasty beer tones. Bit of sweet, sponge cake there too. Easily drinkable. @IHeartWhisky was spot on when she said "slightly thin... normally I like something I can sink my teeth into. It’s not unpleasant though"
Finish: Quite light and short, with a little lemon peel and some minerally watery notes.Some people mentioned tea which I can understand, but a more herbal green tea perhaps.
I'm sure it's obvious from my opening line which whisky was my favourite of the evening! I absolutely loved the Kamiki Intense, I think I can safely say that it is my favourite whisky of 2018 so far. I found it to be a robust, delicious and deep dram offering flavours on so many levels... it was that little bit different to make it stand out, and really was something new that I loved.
The Kamiki is a very tasty dram that I think offers excellent value for money, whereas the Kura is a pleasant, drinkable whisky but maybe a little overpriced given the depth of the other two?
The Kamiki Intense is going on my wish list for my 40th next year! I'll start sending hints out to my family shortly... ;-)