Thursday, October 27, 2005

October 26, 2005. Vintage Whiskey in Tokyo

This is the Winehound's first report from a foreign country. I might just come out and state it right now I am a Whiskey novice. Having said that there have been a few revelations over the years and last night was one of them.

A good friend and I ventured to a non-descript street near Akasaka-Mitsuke in Tokyo ( Close to the Otani Hotel ). In the basement of a non-descript building was a bar which went by the simple name of Grace. At first glance this looked like any bar with an extremely long counter. Then we noticed the whiskey bottles. Macallan vintages going back 1/2 century and perhaps more. We didn't realize until much later that it had a similiarly impressive wine selection. You name it they would probably have it.

To start :

1972 Springbank. Frankly I was not very impressed. Good but not special.

1953 Springbank 8 yr. Whoa - they don't make 8yr like this anymore. Extremely smooth and almost caramel nose. In the mouth, very rounded, smooth as silk and incredible long finish. Wow!

Macallan 1985. Sherry cask. A bit harsh compared to the 1950's Springbank.

Macallan 1970. Caramel, peet, almost sweet on the mouth, viscous. Very nice.

Macallan 1963. Oh my gosh. Much better proportioned amazing nose. In the mouth has a lighter less viscous feel than the 1970 but much more complex and SMOOOTHHHH... filling out the palate and a finish that lasts and lasts.. Going back to taste the 1970 Macallan - it was much less inviting or attractive - just no going back. This is one of the best Macallan's I have had so far this would probably be my #2 best Whiskey. The best would still be the 1947 I had several years ago which was just .... Unique, nothing quite like that one.

And to finish....

Taylor 1960 opened in October 2005. Figs, more figs, plums and raisins. Very nice on the Palate although just a little hot on the finish.

Taylor 1960 opened in July 2005. The fig nose is much less prevalent. Looks like the extended air time has taken this away to some degree. Still pleasant however. Finish better and smoother without that little hot streak at the end. However, I miss the fruitines of the October bottle.

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