Ichiro's Malt Chichibu: Chibidaru - Shinanoya Private Cask 5th Anniversary - Cask# 291 - Age: 3-years-old - Distilled: 2009 - Bottled: 2012 - Outturn: 161 bottles - ABV: 61%
Nose: Juvenile but mature. Roller coaster complexity for a 3-yo: rolls from sweet to savory, followed by earthy aromas then back to sweetness. Lovely crisp wood, rich fresh pot-puri mix: vanilla, sandalwood, and a whiff of white rose (florally). Fresh baked caramel waffles, butterscotch, and candy floss fade in and out between fresh non-flavoured pop corn. Earthy elements follow: wet moss rock and musty warehouse. Darting out of the corners a slight varnish and rich Earl Grey milk tea. Water brings out lemon spice and fruit: plum and ripe permission.
Taste: Youth is a bit present on the palate but sensational stuff. Wood spice and a hint of anise roam. As with the nose tea is present only on the palate it's hot honey and lemon. Water makes this malt sparkle; without it you rob yourself of pleasantries: plum, over ripe permission, powdered sugar coloured pop corn, nougat, and hints of marzipan.
Finish: Warming, mouth coating, lingering, and nutty.
Comment: There is a reason why I ordered this. As mentioned I don't often give in to private bottlings, they have to really push my buttons; the Shinanoya private cask Chichibu Chibidaru did just that. The nose is a winner. It amazed me being so aromatic for the age. When I tried the prototype at Whisky History the bottle was at quarter level, and it was that good I had to order two, so I can only presume the above notes will change as the bottle decreases. Lovely as it is but I can see this becoming greater. For an alternate review take a look over at Connosr - interesting introduction by Pierre W.