Monday, August 7, 2017

Review - The Chita Single Grain Whisky

Renowned as innovators in Japanese whisky, Suntory have released their first single grain whisky into the International market designed as a new style of whisky for a new audience. Blended from spirit aged in wine
and Spanish oak casks alongside American white oak, Chief Blender, Shinji Fukuyo has created what Suntory describes as "a milder whisky with a clean, clear finish and unparalleled sophistication and complexity". It has been bottled at 43% ABV.

The Chita distillery has been producing grain whisky to be used in the famous Suntory blends, such as Hibiki, since 1972. It is unique in its capability to produce three types of corn grain whisky depending on the number of columns in the still used in a continuous multiple column distillation process. A heavy-type spirit is distilled through two columns, medium-type through three, and the clean-type through four. 

Our tasting notes
This innovative single grain whisky from Suntory retains the subtlety, refinement and yet complexity expected from any Suntory Japanese whisky. The nose is fresh and light but offers a balance of warming vanilla and light spices, baking apples, tropical mango and the astringency of fresh citrus.

As a unique example of complexity for a single grain, there is pleasing depth due to multiple different styles of whisky from the same distillery being blended together. This translates onto the palate in sweet and creamy hints of rum and raisin ice cream, warmth of cooking spices and loads of fruitiness both fresh and dried.

As you would expect from a grain whisky the finish is relatively short but it does offer a lovely edge of sweetness and spice with hints of astringency akin to baking soda.

What's the verdict?
This is a truly innovative whisky that will surprise you. It is incredibly versatile and takes as well to mixing as a high ball or into a cocktail as it does being drunk neat. Utilising grain whisky with a Suntory Japanese mindset makes this whisky stand out as one of a kind but we fear that the price point reflects that uniqueness as you can expect around £50 from most UK retailers.

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