Yamazaki 12 Years Old

First, a word from Bill Murray:

Indeed. The Yamazaki 12 is made by the Suntory distillery, as championed in Lost in Translation there. For those of you who are thinking, ‘WTF? Japanese whisky?’ you should be ashamed of yourselves: Japanese blends and single malts are well thought of these days. If you have insane amounts of time, check out this blog for a broader history (but only after you’ve read this post, okay?).

And for the Yamazaki 12, then – the only one of the Yamazakis that I’ve tasted so far.

On the nose: apples, floral notes, cut grass, grape juice. Quite sharp, quite fresh.

In the mouth: that freshness continues. This has a real Chardonnay / Viognier taste at first. A citrusy wine, taken over by peppery notes and other spices. More fruits a little later, then a hint of honey. It’s very clean and delicate indeed, and nicely balanced with a light finish.

An elegant dram. Something for spring. It’s also worth saying that I really do admire some of the design work on the bottle labels (as with many Japanese whiskies); they really are something quite stylish, without going overboard. You could pick a bottle up for around £35.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.


  1. ‘Suntory Time’ indeed – great film, my favourite actually. Clearly a sign I need to try the Whiskey too… See if I can break away from my Scottishness for a day!

  2. Allan – yes, you Scots should be more open-minded. 🙂

  3. Ahh…I actually have a bottle of this and it’s quite good. It has a different feel than most of the Scotch Whisky I’ve drank over the years – a bit sharper, yet still with a smooth flavor and feel – I get a bit of vanilla which I didn’t see you mention.

  4. Hi Neth – you’ve got quite the collection by the sounds of it. I hereby order you to also review whisky on your blog. We can start a movement.

  5. Once my personal life calms down a bit perhaps I will. Of course when I read reviews/descriptions of drinks like wine, whisky and even beer I often have a real hard problem understanding how they come up with so many different flavors and such.

  6. Yeah, I know what you mean, which is why I’ll probably never go beyond a handful of flavours/scents. Some seem to go on for paragraphs!