Japanese Whisky Review: Kirin Fuji-Sanroku 50° “A gift from Mt. Fuji”

If you can buy this for $30, it’s not a bad, grain-heavy blend — although Nikka From The Barrel offers a better dram at this price point.

KIRIN WHISKY 富士山麓 樽熟原酒 50°

Kirin Fuji-Sanroku 50° “A gift from Mt. Fuji” / 50% / ¥3,833 ($27)

Tasted neat

This is a NAS blend from Kirin, produced around Mt. Fuji, sold widely in Japan but which for some reason is selling for $200 or more abroad. The blend has evolved over time, and now I have the newer bottle boasting “Non-Chill Filtered” on the label! I panned the previous release, let’s see how this stacks up.

The front label reads:

樽熟原酒50° Non-Chill Filtered

富士御殿場蒸溜所

Which in English is:

Barrel aged whiskey 50° Non-Chill Filtered

Fuji Gotemba Distillery

The back label reads:

富士山を望む蒸溜所で生まれたウイスキー。 アルコール度50° だから 樽熟原酒の旨みがつまっています。 澄んだ飲み口、甘い樽熟香、 心地よい余韻。 清らかで奥深い味わいを お楽しみください。

Or, in rough English:

This whiskey was born from a distillery overlooked by Mount Fuji. At 50° alcohol by volume, it is full of the delicious flavors of barrel-aged whiskey. It has a clear mouthfeel, a sweet barrel-aged aroma, and a pleasant aftertaste. Please enjoy the clean and deep taste.

  • Color: tawny (1.4) — definitely coloured
  • Nose: alcohol; pine nuts, cornbread, floral parfume, honey, some dry sherry
  • Taste: oily, strawberries, some oak, effervescent chalk; bourbon
  • Finish: medium, lots of honey, a similar coating feeling to mead

This is still very grain-heavy, with bourbony notes, but I think it’s an improvement over the previous version. However, it’s not nearly as good as the other domestic contender for a barrel-proof blend: Nikka From the Barrel. Both are fairly out of stock in Japan, but they do come in regular waves of supply, so you can, in theory get them over time at retail prices.

Rating: 4/10

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Elliott

Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade