Review: Fuyu Blended Japanese Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Distiller N/A

This whisky has shown up in Ontario and Quebec, and very little is known about it. That always makes me a bit nervous with Japanese whisky, which is quite unregulated - you can blend other types of whisky (like Scottish or Canadian) together in Japan and still call it Japanese whisky. This, however, is partly (if not all) from Japan. The Japanese whisky scene, in Canada at least, has never been big but has taken a sad turn in the last few years with more brands popping up but of questionable quality.

Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

This actually smells rather Canadian to me- like some of the cheaper corn-heavy, lightly spicy blends with notes of white pepper, orange peel, coriander, clove, and some dried chickpeas. The palate is spicy, a bit dry, and a bit sweet. Overall, it’s fairly light in body. The finish remains spicy, a touch sweet, with a bit of oak and more dried citrus peel coming through. It has a relatively short finish. The spiciness and dry-ness are mildly appealing as you drink more.

I wanted to review this in part to say this:  I don’t think it’s a good expression, nor necessarily very representative, of good Japanese whisky. There are lots of newcomers to Japanese whisky who might, upon seeing a nicely packaged Japanese whisky for $70, jump at the chance. But, it’s not something I’d pay $70 for, nor would recommend. It’s an analog for what I see often with Canadian whisky – Canadian whisky is often not available overseas and the expressions available are not representative of the styles and whiskies I’d recommend.

Value: Low. 70$ is a lot to pay, especially when I could recommend some similar profile Canadian whiskies which are better and cost $25.