Ichiro's Malt Chichibu The Floor Malted Single Malt Whisky 700ml
The second full release (8800 bottles) from Ichiro Akuto's Chichibu distillery is The Floor Malted, distilled in 2009 from barley malted to Akuto-san's specifications during a trip to England to learn the art of floor-malting for himself. The whisky was matured in mostly bourbon casks with a few 'chibidaru' quarter casks in the mix as well. Nose: Lovely and fruity, packed with red cherries, summer berries (red), quite light with some roasted cereal notes and a malted character. Dave Broom joined us for the evening to present the whiskies and he also picked up crème caramel and white chocolate. Palate: Quite light in texture, red fruits coming through as with the nose, but with a floral lift to them.Although it starts light, this one develops in the mouth, gets chunkier and develops a lovely weight. Those toasted cereal notes are there also, with some granola thrown into the bowl. This time I can spot the white chocolate – or did Dave put that flavour in my mind? With water added, the chocolate character becomes much more prominent and takes over the fruit as the leading role. It becomes oilier, rounded and has a much better texture to it which feels a little more balanced. Finish: A lovely finish that’s long lasting. There’s cereal, granola, pannacotta, and coffee going on but it remains gentle and comes through with a touch of sweetness. Comment: This comes to life with water. Ichiro bottles his range at varying strengths, specific to each whisky. For me, this is a little too strong on its own, but with just a tiny drop of water it becomes soft, rounded and has that lovely cereal character with a subtle chocolate undertone.
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