- DISTILLER: Undisclosed. Produced by Yoshino Spirits.
- MASH BILL: Undisclosed. Kamiki Sakura is a blended whisky reportedly made with malt whiskies distilled along Japan's coast. The grain whisky used is imported but the countries of origin are not disclosed.
- MATURATION: First matured in oak casks and then finished in Yoshino Sugi (Japanese cedar) casks.
- AGE: NAS - No age statement
- YEAR: 2020
- PROOF: 96 Proof (48% ABV)
- MSRP: $89.99
NOSE: Sandalwood | Early Spring Blossoms | A Touch of Good Shaving Cream
TASTE: Wood | Pepper | Honey | A drop of water brings out some vegetal flavors | Light Allspice
FINISH: This whisky hits the palate right up front, adds some spice in the back of the mouth, but then has almost no finish, other than a lingering sandalwood taste. Think of when you have a really luxuriously creamy sandalwood shaving cream on, and you’ve finished shaving, then can just smell the lingering sandalwood.
SHARE WITH: Like its cousin, Umiki whisky, this is a different take on a typical malted barley whisky. While Umiki is finished in pine, this one is finished in Yoshini Sugi (Japanese cedar) barrels, inspired by the breeze coming off Mount Miwa, a holy mountain guarded by Ōmiwa Shrine. It’s less ‘Scotch’ like than a lot of Japanese whiskies I’ve had, probably due to the cedar barrel finish. Scotch drinkers that enjoy different perspectives on whisky making will enjoy this
WORTH THE PRICE: The uniqueness of the cedar finish and the quality of the first taste more than make up for the lack of finish in this whisky; I’d say it’s worth the price, being a blended malt whisky, containing only malt whiskies and no neutral grain whiskies.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar. It’s worth a try, but I personally would spend the money on a great bourbon or Islay Scotch. If you can find it at a bar, though, definitely try it. I’m glad it’s in my bar inventory for something different to try now and then.
OVERALL: 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.
We wanted to celebrate the timeless alcohol tradition of the region by blending a Japanese style whisky that harmonizes Japanese nature and artisanship.
We choose rare Japanese malt whiskies, finest malt whiskies from the rest of the world and fuse this unique blend with the highest quality pure spring water from Japan.
KAMIKI IS THE "THE FIRST WHISKY BRAND IN THE WORLD WITH JAPANESE CEDAR CASK FINISH"
Yoshino Sugi is considered to be the best wood for making local drink casks because of its scented refreshing flavor and wooden aroma. Our blend is rested for a second time in Yoshino Sugi casks to capture a perfectly smooth taste, a scent of sandalwood on the nose and a zest of green tea in the finish. This second maturation makes our whisky unique.
Disclaimer: Yoshino Spirits provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.