Whisky Review – The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky – Distiller’s Reserve

The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky – Distiller’s Reserve
43% ABV
£39.27 from MasterOfMalt

I haven’t tried an awful lot of Japanese Whisky on this blog. But this weekend it changes, as I have 2 entry level whiskies to try from Suntory, and I’m very much looking forward to the new experience.

Now we have Yamazaki Distiller’s reserve. As with Hakushu, in addition to online availability this one is also in Sainsbury’s for £42.00. It’s darker in colour to the Hakushu, let’s have a sniff&sip.


Big spicy nose initially, which settles down to give some dark fruit, most noticeably cherries. Dark cherries. I’m guessing mostly sherry matured, this has the trademarks of a sherry bomb, but with variation. There is a little sherry, little fruitcake, little rum and raisin aromas. But then there is this whole forefront of mentholated cherry throat sweets. And I’m not saying it as a bad thing, it’s fundamentally essential sniffing! We also have some intensive toffee and boiled sweetness. Quite jammy now with the cherries feeling quite boiled. More time and we have some aged notes seeping through. Wax polish. Candle wax, and with time floral oak. More of an autumnal nose, but fabulous stuff. Oh my! This is one I can sniff for an age.


Thick and lovely in the mouthfeel again. Rich and tasty boiled berry fruits. Strawberry, cherries, plums. Very jammy with some blackberries also. Another easy drinker for 43%. This one is all about the fruit. There’s tonnes of it, all soft boiled, slightly sugared, and with added all spice. This is one jammy Whisky. Exceedingly moreish. I really am loving this, it’s quality. It’s difficult to explain an awful lot when all that’s going through my head is ‘mmmmmmm, yummy’.


Sweet, long, a little cream with that warming fruit jam combination. Touches of vanilla giving a custard like pie effect over all that boiled fruity goodness. This really is a dangerous Whisky for all the right reasons! Could easily drink this til there is none left!!

Adding water.

A few small drops added. The nose has more of a classic sherried edge now, with more spiciness forward and a touch of nuttiness. The mentholated cherry has retracted to just cherry, but the fruitiness is still in full effect. The palate is just bloody lovely. Yummmmmmm. Really fruity, jammy, warming, rewarding and delectable. The finish is slightly shorter and less punchy, still very fruity though, with a touch of oak spice and dryness. Personally I wouldn’t water this one, it doesn’t need it, it’s delicious without it.


This whisky hits many favoured points about my Whisky enjoyment. It’s slightly different from the norm. It’s rich, fruity, has a sherried element (I like sherry bombs, but sometimes I like a change!). It’s easy. It’s moreish. If I wanted to spend hours over it and investigate it’s many nuances I could. If I wanted to kick back, savour, feel good and appreciate some serious Whisky with minimal thought I can do that also! This Whisky rocks!

Between Hakushu and Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve whiskies, I would, at this moment in time pick Yamazaki as the favourite. But on another day I would go the other way around. They are both very competent and extremely enjoyable whiskies.

A massive Thank you must go to Suntory Whisky for providing the review sample.


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