Hanyu 1988/2007 Cask 9501, Japanese Oak Finish

A very brief review, while I have a window of opportunity (I’m getting married next week – more on that soon). Therefore, this will be reduced to the bare minimum. It’s not as though you need much waffle from me when you want to know about the whisky, right? And yet I waffle…

So onto the Hanyu 1988/2007 Cask 9501, Japanese Oak Finish. It’s from a single cask of the Hanyu distillery, which is now closed. Distilled in 1988, it was matured in a bourbon hogshead cask. And then finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak.

Colour: dark amber, heather honey, touch of red in the right light. On the nose: another unusual aroma. Sweet and meaty, burnt candles, bitter coffee, Chinese five spice, molasses, nutmeg.

In the mouth: massive chewy molasses and syrup, really interesting. Warm chilli like spices. Nutty. Vanilla. Raisins and sultanas. Like a Glenfarclas 15 on steroids. A delightful weight in the mouth; viscous, though not oily. The finish is a little short, but pleasing.

You might struggle to find a bottle, but you can get samples here. Well worth a stab, if you ask me. And if you can find any Hanyu whisky then lap it up quick!


I've written about (and reviewed) whisky for Whisky Magazine, among other publications, and have been a whisky judge for competitions including the World Whiskies Awards. I've done other writing too: several mass market genre novels, a few short stories, including for BBC Radio 4. For my day job (I know, I don't get out much) I work in digital content. Follow me on Instagram.com/maltreview/ or Twitter.com/MaltReview. Generally, my tastes lean towards ex-sherry cask and ex-wine cask influences on the spirit, but I'm not so fussed as long as the whisky's gone into good wood.

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