Thompson Bros Kanosuke 2018 4 Year Old Cask #20463 & Thompson Bros Aultmore 13yo Red Wine Barrique


Something special today, we've got two Thompson Brothers bottlings, including the first ever UK release from Kanosuke distillery in Japan.

Thompson Bros Kanosuke 2018 4 Year Old Cask #20463

Region: Japan

ABV: 58.0%

Price: £225.00

Distilled at Kanosuke distillery this 4yo release was matured in a bourbon cask before being bottled in 2022. Just 243 bottles were released.

Nose

We're met with an unexpectedly fruity and tropical nose (not that we knew what to expect in the first place), pineapple with a brown sugar glaze, crisp green apples, oat and raisin bites, a little mango puree and some dried apricots towards the latter part of the nose. It's a touch spirituous in places, but we wouldn't assume this was only 4 years old if given blind. The alcohol doesn't feel overpowering either. Time in the glass reveals a mustier note, petrichor, herbal liqueurs alongside some zesty tangerine and lemon.

Palate

The palate begins with heaps of tangerine and lemon, with an incredibly viscous mouthfeel. We're also finding mango, passion fruit and appletiser. It's like a fruit salad in a glass, with well balanced sweetness and acidity. The latter part of the palate is slightly woodier, black pepper, ginger spice and vanilla pods. The finish has a good length, although the oily, viscous sensation drops off a little quicker than we'd like.

Nose (with water)

We're getting a slightly diluted fruitiness, like orchard fruits squash, barley sugars and lighter floral notes coming through. It's not as punchy as before, but we're getting a little sweet vanilla cake and damp tree bark towards the latter part of the nose.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate loses a bit of that upfront oiliness, but still delivers on the tropical fruit salad flavours, along with marzipan, vanilla frosting and herbal flavours coming in on the later palate. We wouldn't say that it needs or benefits from water, so we'd suggest keeping it at its natural strength.

Conclusion

Not having too much experience with Japanese whisky, and not having any experience with Kanosuke, we didn't really know what to expect but we're pleasantly surprised by this. It's very impressive for its age, with lots of tropical fruit and citrus on the nose and palate, a great mouthfeel and good length finish. It's expensive but if you've got the spare cash it's definitely worth it.

Score: 8/10


Thompson Bros Aultmore 13yo Red Wine Barrique

Region: Speyside

ABV: 50.0%

Price: £70.00

Distilled 27th May 2009 this release was matured in a Red Wine Barrique for 13 years before bottled August 2022. 285 bottles were made available.

Nose

Quite rich to begin with, strawberry syrup, oak tannins, freshly ground black pepper (the aroma more than the spice), cherryade and stewed cranberries. Good balance of alcohol, although the nose does feel a little closed off at points. Giving it some time and air, we're finding cinnamon sugar dusted doughnuts and Scottish tablet.

Palate

The palate begins with cherry jam, a little menthol, more of that cinnamon, this time mixed in with darker berries. It's quite rich, maple syrup, candied ginger, toffee sweeties and prunes. The mouthfeel is nice, not super oily but not thin either, and the finish lingers on for a while with red grapes and dry wood tannins. It's drier on the palate than we expected, but there's enough red and black fruit flavours to balance it out relatively well.

Nose (with water)

Reduction has muted some of the bolder red fruits, and we're finding more of a dry oak and almond nuttiness. There's also a little herbal, tobacco leaf note starting to appear.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate feels a touch thin, although it has a bit more vanilla sweetness coming through. The mouthfeel has also taken a bit of a hit. We'd skip the water on this one, it's at perfect drinking strength already.

Conclusion

This is a really quaffable dram, it's got lovely red fruits from the wine cask whilst not being overly sweet. It feels good at 50%, we weren't really detecting any sort of alcohol bite, but the dram still retains a good body. Decent price too, we'll go with 8/10.

Score: 8/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

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