Kujira Ryukyu Whisky

KUJIRA Ryukyu Kujira Ryukyu Whisky

(0.75l, 40%)


7/10
Price:
$73.99
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The Awamori/Shochu Spirit at the foundation of the Ryukyu line of Spirits with a smooth character and clean finish.

The Kumesen Distillery — Kumesen Syuzo — was founded in Okinawa, Japan, in 1952. Their first product was Awamori — a Shochu beverage distilled from special Indica rice and served at 30-40% ABV. Then in 1989 they began to age their Awamori in oak casks, creating a rice-based Whiskey. The products are exceptionally popular in the Japanese islands and the rich flavors of their signature Spirits are building a global fan base.

Kujira Ryukyu Whisky is the core, rice-based Whiskey that leads off the line-up. Although officially a "non-age statement" dram, the distillery declares that it has been aged in new, virgin white oak for more than three years. The warm, sub-tropical climate of the islands means that Whiskies mature faster. And since the casks are new, they easily deliver a ton of flavor to the party.

Smartass Corner #1:
Awamori — the base Spirit — gets its name from the fermentation process. The word translates loosely as "rising swelling bubbles" and the fermentation is started with black koji from Okinawa.

Smartass Corner #2:
The "Ryukyu" line of Whiskies from Kumesen Syuzo gets its name from the Japanese island chain stretching southwest toward Taiwan from mainland Japan. This chain includes hundreds of islands from small coral atolls to large mountainous islands, the largest of which is Okinawa.
  • Category
  • Style
    Japanese Whisky
  • Region
    Okinawa
  • Country
    Japan
  • Alcohol
    40%
  • Distillery
    Shinzato Shuzo
  • Age
    NAS

Flavor Spiral™

About The Flavor Spiral

Close
toffee
jasmine
sweet
oak
vanilla
pear
brine
caramel
fruit
What does Kujira Ryukyu Whisky taste like?

The Flavor Spiral™ shows the most common flavors that you'll taste in Kujira Ryukyu Whisky and gives you a chance to have a taste of it before actually tasting it.

We invented Flavor Spiral™ here at Flaviar to get all your senses involved in tasting drinks and, frankly, because we think that classic tasting notes are boring.
Dog Dogson
Dog Dogson's
Smartass
Corner
Japanese Single Malts, like Scotch, are double-distilled in pot stills. Grain Whiskies, on the other hand, are distilled in column stills.

Tasting Notes

Appearance / Color
Medium Amber

Nose / Aroma / Smell
On the nose you will detect plenty of oak with vanilla, pear, and a hint of the sea.

Flavor / Taste / Palate
The palate is smooth and sharp at the same time with notes of toffee and jasmine.

Finish
The finish is lightly sweet and clean.

This drink is featured in

Ratings & Reviews
Ryan
Ryan,
A bit of acetone on the nose, but not overly harsh. The taste is excellent and extremely smooth. Excellent flavors linger for awhile.
 
Juliana
Juliana,
Definitely sweet toffee, almost banana-like roundness on the nose, with a bright jasmine, perfume presence throughout. Agree with some reviews that the finish could dance a bit longer.
 
Peter
Peter,
Wow wow wow. Intriguing nose but flavor is outstanding.
 
John
John,
Very smooth and fruity. Really nice.
 
Mari
Mari,
This was a gift to my husband and he loved it!! It is the perfect Saturday night drink for him.
 
Jarrod
Jarrod,
As everyone else said, overwhelming toffee and oak flavor. Much sweeter and smoother than I expected, but I'm not complaining at all. By the third sip, I was in love.
 
Alexander
Alexander,
Like a decent bourbon (sweet, vanilla, oak, toffee and a simple evolution) but with a little surprise. I am not disappointed, but to me this was more of a surprise because of what I've come to expect from Japan. That said, this is an expensive Bourbon substitute. Fun experiment but nothing exceptional enough to make me pay $80 for it.
 
Matt
Matt,
Excellent caramel and toffee notes.
 
Jacob
Jacob,
Sweet not harsh flavor
 
Jared
Jared,
Excellent! Smooth, great flavors throughout.
 
David
David,
Best of the tasting box. Nice sweet taste.
 
Liviu
Liviu,
Reminds me almost more of a string sake rather than whiskey. Very mild as a whiskey in terms of alcohol feel. Very smooth. Toffee is indeed the first note that comes to mind. While I can drink it neat all day, not sure if I would buy it as a full bottle as it feels a bit simplistic.
 
Jordan
Jordan,
Boy the Japanese have done it 👍🏼
 
Lili
Lili,
Smells like an oatmeal Carmel cookie and the flavor profile doesn't disappoint. My favorite japanese whiskey this far.
 
Doug
Doug,
The fruits in this one makes it taste like a cognac to me. I enjoyed it as a different expression.
 
Chris
Chris,
Vanilla for sure, nice color and not unpleasant but reminded me more of a cheap bourbon, I'd hate to pay the full price for a bottle
 
Nicholas
Nicholas,
My first foray into Japanese whisky and I was NOT disappointed. On the nose it was heavy on the fruit and floral notes with a hint of spice. On the tongue it was just the same except more toffee and vanilla. My only complaint and why it's a 9 and not a 10 is the finish was too quick. All of the flavors were there and then they weren't. Happy to go back for another sip though.
 
Stefanie
Stefanie,
Very mild. Smooth. Good for newbie whiskey drinkers.
 
Matthew
Matthew,
I don't even know what I tasted here. Definitely no toffee.
 
Andrew
Andrew,
A really bland and boring dram
 
Brent
Brent,
Definitely got the floral hit early (in a Glencairn glass) apparently that’s jasmine? Bright, but softened with the sweet flavors.
 
David
David,
Nose was sharp a astringent. But, tasted pretty good. Toffee, vanilla, nice oaky balance.
 
Ben
Ben,
Flat, oak, wood
 
Rick
Rick,
I found this to be very smooth, vanilla comes through with assertiveness about halfway through
 
Stacy
Stacy,
Toffee flavor hits immediately, followed by the sweet. You briefly taste the saltiness before finishing smoothly. I couldn’t taste the “jasmine” though.
 
Gabriela
Gabriela,
Very harsh alcohol taste.
 
Kyle
Kyle,
Really clean whisky. I enjoyed it.
 
Ryan
Ryan,
Love it. First time tasting a rice whisky. Definitely something different, not for everyone. Sweet, smooth. Toffee, vanilla very evident.
 
Kégan
Kégan,
Great simple flavor, notes of toffee, raspberry and vanilla
 
Hanna
Hanna,
Okay; toffee creamy then; gone. Not much to list after
 
Dan
Dan,
It was ok
 
Heath
Heath,
Of the three whiskeys in the Whiskey is Big in Japan tasting set, this one offered the most attractive flavor.
 
Brandon
Brandon,
My second favorite from the blind taste test. Quite toffee forward with vanilla bringing up the rear guard. Overall, very drinkable, but I had to work to find the “jasmine” notes, which are quite subtle to my nose.” I would buy a bottle.
 
Lance
Lance,
Robust nose, strong oak flavor on palate, very nice finish.
 
Matthew
Matthew,
This was decent, had a bit of a chemical taste at start to it but not to much
 
Nathan
Nathan,
Advent #3. Phenol on the nose off the start but after sitting the vanilla becomes apparent. Taste is sweet and vanilla at the start and then oak. Several sips in and less oak and more brine. A slight burns lingers. Just isn’t working for me.
 
Michael
Michael,
Advent find. Enjoyed. Nice complexity.
 
Tommy
Tommy,
Liked the sweet and caramel taste and smooth finish. It's the first Japanese Whisky and I really enjoyed it. Not very strong though.
 
Mark
Mark,
Too chemically
 
Sean
Sean,
Didn’t love it, maybe is the rice.
 
guest
guest,
Medium body; brine-vanilla aroma; caramel-sweet taste
 
Mark
Mark,
Strong alcoholic start, smooth finish
 
Jere
Jere,
Allowing that its rice whiskey and not my thing, I thought it had a very pleasant nose but oddly it had only unpleasant phenol tastes in the middle of palate and a bit of alcohol burn in the finish (strange for low proof), though with some promise around edges. Wouldn’t buy it but makes me wonder if the 8 year aged brings out the potential better?
 
Liam
Liam,
Strong alcohols. Good after taste of toffee and pear. Just a perfect amount of sweet.
 
David
David,
Very easy to sip. Nice sweet notes with a good aroma
 
Lawrence
Lawrence,
Phenols on the nose. Quick, sweat bite followed by salty brine finish
 
Matthew
Matthew,
Blind-tasting this in the advent calendar, I suspected it might be a rice whiskey since it reminded me of the Fukano ten year, but less sophisticated. I enjoyed the faint brine note, which kept the sweetness to be cloying, but overall it felt a bit thin and the finish too short.
 
Jason
Jason,
Sweet, muted and not harsh. Warm down the pipe. Probably one of the better rice Whiskeys I’ve tasted.
 
Bob
Bob,
Lots of Toffee and a little oak
 
Christopher
Christopher,
Was very good, I do not have experience with japanese whiskeys however has made me interested in trying more
 
Stephen
Stephen,
Total surprise. Very floral on the nose, and was not expecting to enjoy the flavor. But the floral notes are reasonably balanced. Not too spicy nor is there an overwhelming alcohol flavor.
 
Tommy
Tommy,
Warm with a sweet finish
 
Todd
Todd,
Not a big fan. Just ok. I little sweetness. Drop of water minutes everything.
 
Scott
Scott,
Decent whiskey with a sweeter nose that opened up as it sat. Oaky and toffee were spot on, but ultimately not the most memorable Japanese expressions that I’ve tasted
 
Bryan
Bryan,
I really enjoy the flavors this whisky delivers. My favorite Japanese whisky thus far!
 
Matthew
Matthew,
Slightly sweet, with a hint of brine and a burn that shows its relatively young age. Pretty basic Japanese whisky, but not as grain forward.
 
Vincent
Vincent,
Third day of Advent - Strong oak nose, very sweet palate and finish. Really enjoyed this dram.
 
Derek
Derek,
Caramel on the nose and as the primary flavor. Relatively tasty but fairly one-note. Decent enough, but not one I’m likely to remember.
 
Nicholas
Nicholas,
Simple drink, like the balance of sweet and salt-like. But a bit too simple
 
Jason
Jason,
Enjoyable. Starts off a bit sweet, but has enough organic notes that build to balance it out. Clean finish.
 
Colin
Colin,
Because it is not high proof, you get to experience the nose and the palate right off the bat. On Advent Whisky Night #3,, this tastes like the first good quality dram. Tons of toffee, not super layered or complex, but really good on this December night.
 
Lea
Lea,
Oaky nose then a strong, off-note sweetness with no complementary flavors. Don’t recommend.
 
James
James,
Not much complexity for me. Toffee/caramel up front with a slightly salty finish. I found it to be a bit rough
 
Mike
Mike,
Oak and toffee
 
James
James,
Smells better than it tastes; a little briny initially, and more so on back end and more end heat than expected or desired
 
Louise
Louise,
Like the toffee and the floral
 
Matthew
Matthew,
Not sure if I had a bad sampling bottle. The nose was paint thinner and medicinal yet very floral. The palate was floral and had a funk I wish I could describe. I was excited to try this but it’s pretty disappointing.
 
Jesse
Jesse,
Not a fan of the flowery taste
 
Thomas
Thomas,
Toffee on the nose but oak dominates the palate. It is okay, but not inspiring.
 
Adam
Adam,
Decent flavored, with a pleasant balance of flavors and a nice sweet, floral, fruity lingering finish.
 
Aaron
Aaron,
Sweet and smooth with that burn on the tail
 
Ryan
Ryan,
It's not bad, but nothing to write home about. I got some notes of Jasmine and a nose of toffee, but it really just tasted like well whiskey to me. Not bad, but if I had a bottle I wouldn't cry if it was used for cocktails.
 
Kris
Kris,
Not much other than oak on the nose and the taste isn't much more. Ultimately there are much better options for Japanese whisky out there.
 
Andrew
Andrew,
Strong bite and the toffee notes aren’t enough to redeem it
 
Ed
Ed,
Strong bite, heavy woody flavor (but not oaky...) long after taste. Kind of reminds me of a cheep scotch.
 
Frank
Frank,
(Advent 2020, #3) In the nose a little oak and sweetness (Carmel?). Interesting flavor, again the oak, vanilla, carmel, and something else (looked on the card and saw brine - guess that's what I'm tasting). The finish is pretty good
 
guest
guest,
Drinks like and age statement.
guest
guest,
*an
Bryan
Bryan,
Toffee forward with a very sweet aftertaste. However a strong alcohol bite holds it back a bit
 
Neil
Neil,
rice cough medicine.
 
Terry
Terry,
(Advent 2020 #3) Have wanted to try Japanese whiskey. Strong bite. Toffee comes through. Not to my taste
 
Alcorn
Alcorn,
Predominately orange in the nose, with some caramel.
 
Daniel
Daniel,
(Advent 2020 #3) toffee forward with hints of oak, slightly sweet with hints of fruit on backend. Not bad, wouldn't turn it down, but won't buy 9ver our other favorites.
 
Chris
Chris,
I love this stuff so much!
 
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