After about a year and a half, it is finally time for another Chichibu review! The Chichibu Paris Edition 2020, released last week, was exclusively bottled for La Maison Du Whisky. Needless to say, it sold out immediately.

It is always difficult to buy a Chichibu and that is one of the reasons why it took a while again for me to review one. Either the bottles that were on offer were simply too expensive (remember the Intergalactic series for instance?) or I was unable to get one.

Yup, the Chichibu releases are immensely popular. But I think it’s insane these bottles double in price overnight before people actually had the chance to try it. Is it the raving reviews or the pure quality of these bottles that have a huge influence on these prices? Or is it just speculation and “investors”? Probably a bit of both.

I can imagine that once you have bought one and you see the value increase, you will think twice before opening that bottle. And I have to admit, it has also crossed my mind, but it’s one of my favourite brands. It may not be the cheapest brand out there but the quality is excellent. At least I like to think so. So my approach: I open my bottles of Chichibu. Sometimes straight away like this Paris Edition and sometimes on a special occasion. Life is just too short not to enjoy it! And especially in these strange days when everything is already different than normal, a beautiful whisky is more than welcome!

This Chichibu is a marriage of 1 first-fill bourbon (peated), 3 virgin oak casks and 1 port pipe, which were distilled in 2013. But that’s not all, there were also 2 quarter casks and one red wine cask, all 3 from 2014. Bottled at a strength of 52.8%.

Chichibu Paris Edition 2020 tasting notes:

Nose: red berries, blueberries, honey and dark chocolate. A hint of oak and nutmeg. Later also oranges and a tropical fruit note, mostly pineapple. Yellow apples and a subtle trace of smoke.

Taste: quite some honey here as well. After that, it gets fruity, mostly towards tropical fruits, such as pineapple and passion fruit. This is followed by Vanilla and dark chocolate. A little woody at some point. Then some spices, such as black pepper, cinnamon, a pinch of ginger and nutmeg. Later it goes more towards the blueberries, leaving the tropical note behind. The spices are always there.

Finish: mid-long to long with plenty of honey, blueberries, oak and the same spices as on the palate. A hint of peat as well.

Quite honey-like and I am actually not used to that from other Chichibus I have tasted. It’s a little out of balance at some points, but although not my favourite Chichibu it’s certainly really nice. Great casks, good whisky and it seems like you get something from every cask, which is rather special.