This whisky has an interesting story, going through a secondary aging in Japanese cedar, honoring the Omiwa Shrine at the food of Mount Miwa. The name means God Breath, inspired by the breezes coming from the Mountain of the God. You can tell there’s some story behind the whisky. And that first taste tells you there’s quality whisky in the bottle. I wish it had a better finish, which would have moved my final verdict from Bar to Bottle, but it’s still an interesting enough whisky to try at least once.
I can’t say I was really looking forward to this whisky, so I was surprised to find how much I really like it. It drinks a bit hotter than it’s 92 proof, but just a drop of water affects that nicely. Too much water, and it’s just kind of a sweet water; add water judiciously, but do try it with a drop or two. The whisky is made with desalinated ocean water, and the company makes a big deal about that. it’s just water, though, but at least it’s clean water, and it actually makes a decent whisky.
As I was venturing into the world of Japanese whisky, I purposefully avoided two bottles produced by Nikka, despite the fact that I very much liked some of their other offerings. I decided that I would not like their “Coffey” whiskies because, with little-to-no exceptions to this rule, I’m not a fan of flavored whiskies. I figured that since they misspelled “whisky” (I prefer the American/Irish “whiskey”), that they must have misspelled “coffee” as well. I assumed that coffee-flavored whiskey must have its fans, but that I would not be one of them. It was in explaining this flavor preference …
This is a severe departure from a bourbon-bomb that’s single-barrel or cask-strength. It is appropriate that the brand’s own notes include the phrase “a full orchestra of flavors.” If a high-proofed bourbon is rock-and-roll, then this is truly a classical masterpiece. Obviously, being a fan of one, doesn’t mean you can’t be a fan of the other: sometimes you’re in the mood for Led Zeppelin or the Red Hot Chili Peppers and other times can call for Beethoven or Vivaldi.