The ImpEx Collection independent bottlings of whiskey and rum launched with much fanfare (at least for us) last year, and now the collection is expanding to offer its first Japanese whisky. This 17 year old grain whisky comes from an undisclosed distillery — hence the name — and is made from koji rice and barley.
It’s a very unusual spirit, aggressively sweet in the way that many single grain Scotch whiskies are, and with an edge of kerosene lending a sharpness to the spirit. Notes of lime leaf and burnt toffee add some unique — and disparate — aromas with time in glass. On the palate, the grain whiskeyness of the experience comes more into focus, very sweet up front with notes of melted butterscotch candies and canned fruit salad, then almond butter and a punch of dark chocolate. There’s plenty happening here, and it doesn’t always gel, the finish offering some pencil lead grit and a reprise of old fruit laced with molasses. It’s overly sharp and a little oxidized in the end, but the trip to get there has more than a few moments of quiet excitement.
B / $280 / impexbev.com