Japanese whiskies are surrounded by a nimbus of high quality. The country’s typical penchant for detail perfectionism has brought numerous whiskies into the focus of the global whisky community over the past 15 years and established their enduring reputation. And I, too, can’t help but have certain expectations when I hold a Japanese whisky in my hands. So it is again today. (provided test product)*
The Kanosuke 2022 Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky is already very promising on paper. It is a non-chill-filtered Cask Strength whisky, which definitely appeals to me already. But if you don’t know the name Kanosuke, here’s a little background information:
Kanosuke Distillery was only founded in 2017 by Kanosuke Komasa and opened in 2018. The slogan “Founded in 1883” is a reference to the history of the parent company Komasa Jyozo, which has been producing shochu since 1883 (so it’s basically a marketing slogan to suggest a longer tradition). It is located in Kagoshima Prefecture at the famous Fukiagehama beach.
That’s exactly where the distillates for the Kanosuke 2022 Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky were distilled between 2017 and 2019 on all three of the distillery’s pot stills and finally matured in an unspecified combination of casks, but of which sherry casks are cited as the main focus. With 59% vol. it finally comes into the bottle. It also sounds very appealing up to this point, in my opinion.
Aroma: Oh yes, this is a very fine, sherry-forward aroma with very interesting notes of spice, dark fruits, of which plums are indeed the most prominent (a bit makes one think of Umeshu). A fine, subtle vanilla combines with notes of cinnamon, distinct oak, honey associations and herbal notes, as well as a hint of citrus. The nose is not overly complex, which is not surprising given the still relatively young age of the whiskey, but it is very coherent and quite intense, which makes this whiskey definitely stand out.
Taste: On the palate, one notices the force of the oak with powerful spicy notes that initially triumph over the more fruity facets. Then, however, dark fruits reappear, again some plum, berry tones and fine chocolate. Coffee notes are also in the game as well as cinnamon, nutmeg and a subtle note reminiscent of wine gum. Very exciting and appealing. The alcohol makes itself felt here, of course, but never turns out bitingly sharp, instead carrying a whole truckload of flavors. The addition of a few drops of water make the whisky lose intensity overall, but bring notes of chocolate and coffee even further to the fore.
Finish: surprisingly long with spicy oak, candied fruit and a hint of ginger.
For this whisky, I actually knew right away that it should be an Old Fashioned. Not too complicated, not too bold, in fact I just wanted to portray a coherent variation on the neat experience that should definitely be considered at special moments. To do this, I combined the whiskey with some three-year-old Choya Umeshu and chocolate bitters. That’s about it. The drink is just called Fukiagehama Sunset because of its slightly darker, redder hue and in reference to the sunset depicted on the packaging.
Recipe “Fukiagehama Sunset”:
6 cl Kanosuke 2022 Single Malt Whisky
1 bar spoon The Choya Aged 3 Years
2 dashes of Chocolate Bitters
Preparation: Pour all ingredients into your glass over solid ice, stir briefly and spray with the oil of an orange zest.
Garnish: Orange zest
Sources of supply: At specialized retailers or online
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.