Head to Head Tasting #1: Kyoto-on-Spey

Having recently acquired two three-bottle sets of mini-bottles from Balvenie and Glenfiddich respectively, and a half-bottle of The Macallan 12, I’m going to sqeeze as many tastings out of these Speyside puppies as I can.  I also recently acquired a bottle of Suntory’s Yamazaki 12 y/o from a friend who was having a clear-out.  So without further ado…

1)      The Macalllan 12

2)      Glenfiddich 12

3)      The Balvenie Double Wood (12 y/o)

4)      Yamazaki 12

Nose:

1)      Malt, sherry, a bit of wood

2)      Big malt, sharp, pear, bit of wood

3)      Robust, honey, cream, bit of sherry

4)      Dark caramel, bourbon, alcohol

On the Palate:

1)      Honey, butterscotch, wood, bit of burn

2)      Light, sweet, tiny bit of wood, granny smith apple

3)      Thick, sweet, rich, light caramel, ripe peach

4)      Rich caramel, wood

Finish:

1)      Creamy sherry, burn, long and slow

2)      Sharp, burn, tiny tiny bit of wood, surprisingly long

3)      Woody, burn, fairly long, a bit of creamy sherry

4)      Sweet, dry, wood, fades fairly fast

Parting words:

1)      Solid, well crafted, enjoyable

2)      Bright, tart, but not shallow

3)      Beefy, but subtle with hidden depths

4)      Nice everyday sipper, but nothing too life-changing