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Ghost Series Kanosuke Distillery Single Malt Chardonnay Cask Finish Revealed

What you need to know:

  • Hideo Yamaoka’s Whisky Mew and renowned Japanese whisky writer Stefan van Eycken have revealed a new Ghost Series bottling from Kanosuke Distillery Single Malt finished in Chardonnay Barriques!

  • This is the first Ghost Series bottling to feature Kanosuke's whisky.

  • The Japanese single malt was distilled in 2018, just a year after the distillery kickstarted operations, and were matured in first fill Bourbon barrels for 3 years before being finished in a refill Chardonnay barrel in August 2021, finally being bottled in April 2022.

  • It carries the label of "Sagi Musume" from the series "New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts" by legendary ancient ukiyo-e master Yoshitoshi, who was the last great woodblock print artist.

  • The work has its basis in the eponymous folk tale which resembles the famous Russian story Swan Lake and is often performed as a dance or in Kabuki theatre.

  • The bottling clocks in at 58% ABV and has a total outturn of 271 bottles. A total of 90 bottles will be released via lottery which will start June 14th, 2022 and close June 16th, 2022.

  

(Image Source: Aloha Whisky)

 

A new Ghost Series bottling has been unveiled by Hideo Yamaoka's Whisky Mew and renowned Japanese spirits expert Stefan van Eycken (check out his book Whiskey Rising, which is one of the most comprehensive and best guides on Japanese whiskies) - a Kanosuke Distillery Single Malt finished in Chardonnay Barriques!

This is the first Ghost Series bottling to feature Kanosuke's whisky. Stefan and Hideo both selected the barrel from several samples at the distillery, which they visited in November 2021, having been fascinated by the uniqueness of the Kanosuke whisky having been finished in Chardonnay barriques.

 

Three people in the aging warehouse.  From the left, Hideo Yamaoka, Stephen Van Aiken, and Kosho Brewery President Yoshitsugu Komasa.

The pair, Hideo (left) and Stefan (center), with Yoshitsugu Komasa, founder of Kanosuke Distillery. (Image Source: Whisky Mew)

 

The Japanese single malt was distilled in 2018, just a year after the distillery kickstarted operations, and were matured in first fill Bourbon barrels for 3 years before being finished in a refill Chardonnay barrel in August 2021, finally being bottled in April 2022.

It carries the label of "Sagi Musume" from the series "New Forms of Thirty-Six Ghosts" by legendary ancient ukiyo-e master Yoshitoshi, who was the last great woodblock print artist.

 

"The work has its basis in the eponymous folk tale which resembles the famous Russian story Swan Lake and is often performed as a dance or in Kabuki theatre.

In the tale, a man finds an injured heron and cares for it until it is strong enough to fly again. Later on in his life he meets a woman who then becomes his wife, making their living by selling the silk brocades which she weaves. One day when the husband chances upon his wife at work, he realises that she is actually the heron he had once saved, causing their relationship to sadly end.

Yoshitoshi's Heron Maiden is classically mysterious and veiled in all white garments."

(Source: Japanese Gallery Kensington)

 

The bottling clocks in at 58% ABV and has a total outturn of 271 bottles. A total of 90 bottles will be released via lottery which will start June 14th, 2022 and close June 16th, 2022.

 

(Image Source: Whisky Mew)

 

Official Tasting Note

Nose

Lush and seductive with fruits galore: tinned apricots, slightly overripe peaches, candied orange peel, Yubari melon and Jonagold apples; also marzipan, Danish pastries, fruit-flavored hi-chu (soft candy) and a hint of umeshu

Taste

Zesty (lime zest, candied grapefruit peel) and effervescent (home-made ginger ale) on the attack; leading onto fruit-notes suggested by the nose (orange sorbet, various kinds of jam – apricot and plum jam – but also grape skins and apple peel), and with a hint of edamame in the background

Finish

The zesty notes build in intensity on the finish (with some sudachi appearing), transforming via white pepper into fresh bird's eye chili, which lingers forever and ever… a seemingly endless tingly delight (with a touch of melon, too).

 

Official Tasting Note (Stefan van Eycken)

Aroma

Fresh, captivating, with lots of fruit: canned apricots, slightly overripe peaches, candied orange peels, Yubari melons, Jonagold apples. Also marzipan, danish pastry, fruit-flavored hi-chew, and faint plum wine.

Taste

Citrus peel (lime peel, candied grapefruit peel), effervescent (homemade ginger ale) attack, fragrant fruit characteristics (orange soave, many varieties) Jam-apricot and plum jam-and not only grape rind and apple rind). A faint edamame behind.

Finish 

The citrus peel characteristics are strongly incorporated into the finish (somewhat sudachi appears), turning into Thai chili peppers through white pepper, which lasts forever ... as if never ending, tingling. Like joy (with a faint melon).

 

Background

 

 The Ghost Series bottlings have become incredibly sought after. (Image Source: Bonhams)

  

The Ghost Series started out as a project by Stefan van Eycken to bottle some interesting and rare Japanese whiskies for fans of his blog Nonjatta (which anyone interested in Japanese whiskies should know of by now, or if you haven't should definitely check out). Along the way, it has seen some incredible bottlings that have included Karuizawa's mythical "rouge casks" from the one single year that parent, Mercian, aged Karuizawa's whiskies in wine casks, to peated Hanyu and Chichibu whiskies, and as of late has focused more on Eigashima Distillery's Akashi whiskies, featuring very unusual ex-Sake American Oak casks and Cabernet Franc casks.

  

Yoshitoshi's last master works titled "New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts". (Image Source: The Value)

  

The series is also distinctive in its labelling, with each label featuring a print of Japan's last woodblock print Master, Yoshitoshi's, final series of works titled "New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts". It is said that the woodblock print selected for that specific bottle's label draws some resonance with the whisky that is being bottled.

Famous manga and Japanese expert Hideo Yamaoka, known for bottling whiskies that carry popular manga-inspired labels under his independent bottler Whisky Mew, has collaborated with Stefan van Eycken for several editions of the Ghost Series.

 

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot



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