Showing posts with label Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserv. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserv. Show all posts

Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve Review

“Blackberry Way”

Whisky Review # 875

Country: Japan
Region: North of Tokyo
Brand: Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve - Leaf Series
Blended at: Chichibu Distillery
Type: Japanese Blended Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Possibly a mix of Bourbon, Sherry & Mizunara Wood. Red Wine Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price : US$ 260 (June 2020) - Lowest Price: US$ 128 (June 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎 Too expensive for such a Young Whisky
Buying Advice: 😀 It's expensive but if you love Red Wine Finish, go for it!


Dark Amber with shades of Brown and Orange (Natural Colour)


It's a young Whisky but the Red Wine casks mask this fact convincingly without over-powering the other Aromas. Nicely done. It's Medium-Sweet and quite Fruity with lots of Dark Red Fruits like Berries. Soft and Pleasant.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Toffee, Vanilla, Dark Red Fruit (Berries), Cassis, Fresh Apricot, Dried/Fresh Herbs, Milk-Chocolate, Oak, Cinnamon, Cloves, Mint, Cardamom and Licorice.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Roasted Nuts, Coffee Beans, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Banana, Grass & Straw, Floral Soap, Apple Strudel, Bounty Candy Bars, Nougat, Orange, Polished Leather and Pepper. A hint of overcooked Vegetables.


The Red Wine casks are more present now without being dominant. Again they succeed in partly obscuring the Youth of this Whisky. The Palate presents a mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. As you know I'm not a huge fan of Red Wine cask finishing but here it works.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Malted Barley, Caramel, Roasted Nuts, Red Berries, Plum Jam, Seville-Orange, Apple Strudel, Milk Chocolate, Oak, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Mint. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Toast, Vanilla, Dried Fruit (Raisins, Dates and Figs), Grapefruit, Lemon-Pepper, Herbal Tea, Polished Leather, Dusty Track, Bounty Candy Bars, Cloves and Soy Sauce.


Medium-Long. Medium-Dry. Mainly Sweet with a few Bitter and Spicy notes as well for balance. The Red Wine casks are more noticeable now without overdoing it. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Grass, Straw, Seville Orange, Blackberries, Raspberries, Dried and Fresh Herbs, Oak, (Lemon) Pepper, Ginger, Aniseed, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Chocolate, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Metal and Mushrooms.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Wine Wood Reserve as the ABV of 46% is spot-on.

Rating: 86.5

Nose: 22 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Good


This Japanese Whisky is named after Ichiro Akuto, the owner/founder of the Chichibu distillery founded in 2008. He is a grandson of the founder of Hanyu, a distillery that was closed in 2004. Ichiro managed to buy around 400 casks of Hanyu Malt. Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve is a blend of Malt Whisky from these two distilleries. Over the years the Hanyu part in the blend decreases of course. Wine Wood Reserve is finished in egg-shaped French Oak Red Wine Casks called Ovums. They are produced in the Charentes region by Taransaud and are used in the Bordeaux region.

Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve is a well-made Red Wine cask finished blended Malt. This finish manages to largely obscure the Youth of the Spirit. Ichiro for some reason has become a bit of a cult Whisky and prices have gone through the roof. Objectively speaking I can't understand this hype. Ichiro has produced some nice Malts but it is very Young Whisky and we should not forget that! Still, if you are a big fan of Red Wine Cask Finishing and you have the cash, you won't be disappointed with this Wine Wood Reserve.


Jan van den Ende                                                                          June 1, 2020

Chichibu Distillery