A while ago I reviewed the Japanese Kamiki, a world blended malt that has had a fairly unusual finish, namely in Japanese cedarwood. But the makers behind this blend, Yoshino Spirits Co., like to experiment a bit and they have released another interesting whisky last year, called Umiki.

So what makes this world blended malt so special. Well, just like Kamiki, this one has also had a rather unusual finish, because this Umiki is finished in Japanese pine barrels! Now, that sounds intriguing, right?

But there’s more… Because, in addition to being the first whisky to be aged in pine barrels, it is also the world’s first whisky to use only sustainable water for blending. Ocean water, which comes from the Pacific Ocean. And that’s another interesting detail, don’t you think? In any case, I have become quite curious how this will taste. So let’s get to the tasting notes.

This Umiki is bottled at 46% ABV.

Umiki tasting notes:

Nose: resin and pine needles at first and a lot. Quite some forest freshness. Then a floral note appears combined with a touch of acacia honey. Fresh pears and some vanilla. Followed by red apples.

Taste: creamy and sweet. Acacia honey. Caramel. A bit of milk chocolate. Green bananas in the background. Later also the pine needles but not as much as the nose suggests.

Finish: mid-long to long with mostly red apples, vanilla, acacia honey and pine needles again.

There’s quite some influence of the Pine barrel finish in the nose. And because of this, you would expect that the barrel finish will take the upper hand on the palate, but this is actually not the case. It’s more in balance there. Fortunately, this also gets better in the nose after a while. The whisky feels somewhat on the young side but it gets away with it. A fun and interesting whisky to try, but I don’t know if I would buy a bottle of it myself.

This bottle was provided by Yoshinio Spirits Co.