Ichiro's Malt Five of Hearts, distilled in 2000 from the now closed Hanyu distillery. This was bottled in 2008 for the Card Series. It was matured in two different cask types: a hogshead and a French oak Cognac cask. This is bottle number 36 of 326 bottled from cask number 9100.
This was the dram that pretty much ruined the night for @yolomoloh and me a couple nights ago. Was it that bad? Read on...
Ichiros Malt Final Vintage of Hanyu 15 years 46.5% alcohol
Colour: bright bronze
Nose: starts out strong with simultaneous peat, smoke and peppermint aromas
Palate: sweet, fruity, and complex. Somewhat drier than normal, but it lends itself to a more pronounced lingering pear cider taste.
Finish: medium length, bringing forth little bit of smoke and fresh fruits.
Verdict: 9.0/10! Basically, after starting off with this, nothing else even came close; our palates were utterly spoiled by this heavenly nectar.
Taking out best Japanese blend 12 years or less twice (beating the awesome Hibiki 12) at the WWA is the Nikka Premium 12 yo. Only sold in Japan it has totally flown under the radar and is a lot cheaper than current Hibiki prices.