AKKESHI JAPANESE WHISKY
All tasting notes attributed to Ethan Kelley, Acker Spirits Director
Japanese Whiskies took the world by storm in the early 2000s and for those whisky lovers dedicated to finding complexity and finesse, Japanese whiskies fit the bill. The leaders of Japanese whisky were prepared and confident for their moment in the spotlight. Others cashed in on the interest and sold Japanese whiskies that were little more than blended Scotches or Canadians, and in some cases were bottled in Japan but contained no Japanese distillate whatsoever. Thankfully the laws are changing to put an end to this practice. Akkeshi is different. Akkeshi is a new distillery, opened in 2016, located in the quiet countryside of Northern Japan on the island of Hokkaido. With the confidence of the big guys, and their respect too, Akkeshi is releasing real-deal Japanese whiskies into the market with equal parts restraint and excitement.
Served up at cask strength, this is a briny and smoky malt, equally as demanding as the peat-centric malts of Islay. Yet, this malt offers complexity with tropical fruits like pineapple and kiwi that balance out an extraordinary maritime influence. The finish is lean and sultry with salt and campfire smoke.
A single malt that boasts gentle peat and pays homage to the ninth growing season out of twenty-four in the Japanese cycle of seasons. This single malt remains fruit forward but adds sweetness with juicy and bitter candied orange peels, ginger chews, and gooey chocolate. Green apple and fudge develop on the finish.
A fruit forward blend made exclusively with malts distilled in-house and imported grain whiskies matured at the distillery. The nose is lively and complex with loads of citrus and light vanilla, while the first sip reveals depth and maturity, adding more stone fruits and raisins to the mix of toasted oak and smoke. The finish is subtle with smoke, salt, and chocolates.