ABOUT THIS DRAM
So back in the very early days of The Dram Association, we had the blended whisky from the Akashi range as Dram P02. We had our fingers crossed that eventually, we might one day see the single malt over here. Low and behold (and somewhat to my surprise) it arrived a little while back. Very little of this whisky came to BC, and in the end, only two stores were allocated any. Naturally, I scooped a decent amount up for the Dram Association and now we’re finally releasing it as Dram 26 – the last dram of the Dram Association’s first year.
As mentioned in the description of Dram Dram P02 Eigashima was the first-ever distillery to get an official licence to distil whisky in Japan. However, they weren’t the first to create it. They have a long history dating all the way back to the Edo period, and the company was founded in 1888. It creates a plethora of different beverages including shochu, plum brandy, sake, and even wine – owning their own vineyards. The casks from their own wine went into making this whisky. Although there isn’t an official age statement, I’ve been told that it is made from 7-year-old ex-sherry casks, 5-year-old ex-white wine casks and 4-year-old ex-bourbon casks. It’s also lightly peated using mostly English barley.
The biggest takeaway from the blended version was the orchard fruits – and that was the first thing we noticed here on the nose. Apricots once more – this time joined by peaches and apple cider. There was a butteriness to it which was quite pleasant and a little touch of sourness. Much more sour and it might be slightly odd with the other flavours – but as it developed it turned out more like Greek yogurt.
The palate is what really sets this one apart from its blended predecessor. There was a sliver of smoke that brought forward a roasted coffee and butterscotch note. It was joined by stewed plums and milk chocolate. Incredibly different from the blend – and in my eyes leagues ahead of it in quality and complexity. It was still playful – but more powerful. For the 80’s kids among us it was like going from a Nintendo to a Super Nintendo – or as it was known in Japan, Super Famicom!
For such a young whisky the finish was quite lengthy too. Having read a few reviews of previous years’ releases of this whisky, it seems like the distillery is really improving with both age and experience.