On the Japanese island of Kyushu, next to the pure river Kuma, there's a unique family-run Ohishi distillery, founded in 1872, that uses sorcery to turn rice into Whiskey. Yes, rice. Where distilleries usually use barley, Ohishi uses Japan's favorite grain to create this superb sake-like Spirit. And not just any type: they use mochi rice from Kumamoto, and add gohyakumanishi rice, grown through organic farming, employing Koi Carp to control weeds.
Ohishi Islay Cask Whisky is a smoky-sweet treat that was fully matured in ex-Brandy casks, and finished for 8 months in barrels that held Islay Scotch. And we're talking heavily peated Scotch, which beautifully translates to Ohishi. Now, they don't say from which distillery the cask came, but with such sensational scents and flavors, does it really matter? What this bottle brings is a triple treat of Japanese Whisky, Brandy and peaty Islay Scotch.
I liked it. Approachable and mellow with a leathery nose. Smoke, pepper, and peat up front - followed by sweet, slightly orange notes on the back end.
When you smell it, it smells fruity. When it goes down it has a strong taste not smooth at all. It does have a sweet after flavor. Not my type of drink.
Smokey but not complete
Overly smoky and too much bite
One of my favorites. Smokiness, but not overly so. Unfortunately, it is expensive where I'm located. I was really happy to be able to sample it.
I don’t like whiskeys that are TOO peaty/smokey. It’s like the rosemary of the whiskey world. For example, Compassion Box’s Peat Monster is one I can only drink on rare occasions in small amounts. All that to say the smoke on this is perfect. It does overwhelm the rest of the flavors, but I don’t mind. If you add a touch of water, the fruit comes out. Also, the mouth feel of this is exquisite and silky.
Way too smoky. Felt like I was drinking an ash tray
I really enjoyed the complexity of flavors in this whisky. The peat wasn't overwhelming, complementing the rest of the dram with a nice smooth warming without being hot.
Very Smoky & Spicy. The smoke & meat flavor was somewhat uncomfortable for me, but if that is a flavor you desire, they achieved it with this whisky very well. The smell is misleading, the scents of the fruit come through, but aren’t prominent in the taste.
Terrible. Tastes and smells like rubbing alcohol. Took one sip and dumped the rest. Don't waste your time or money.
Smokey and spicy, yet quite smooth.
Good nose tones, but a strong opaque taste with a bitter finish. The peaty and smoky flavors overpower all other notes to even appreciate a good dram.
Smoky and peaty, a little spicy, yet smooth.
Its hard to pick up on other flavors besides the smokiness but I really enjoy this (I like peated whiskeys). It has a smooth finish. I’d get a bottle of it if available.
Very smoky, very little vanilla
Terrible! We couldn’t even drink it. Tried it mixed with different flavors but the over all taste was so bad we couldn’t finish it.
Light, crisp, nice balance of peat and fruit. Sake characteristics shine through. Heavy pear on the nose, smoke lingers on aftertaste. Lovely.
I’m not a fan of peaty flavors. But I did enjoy this.
Smoke, fruit, and peat
Smokey, with a smooth finish.
Interesting. Reminds me of sake. Unpleasant after taste.
You can feel the sake history to this... hard to remove the smoke to get to the other notes.
It is a classic, elegant, Japanese Whisky that has a delicate birth; while a rich & complex life leads to a long & smoky death with hints of jerky, vanilla & fruit.
Straight, it is like beef jerky. Rocks let a little sweetness through.
Smoky and rustic, not as rounded as I’d hoped but still great!
Quite peaty, in style of Lagavulin or Laphroaig, so you have to be in that mood. Nice finish.
more smoke than vanilla
interesting drinking experience
Can definitely taste the pepper and smoke in this one. Not my cup of tea but it is smooth and easy going down.
Even sweet and smoky up front, spices at the end. Kind of medicinal, but overall good
smells of vanilla but a very rich but not overwhelming mineral and peat taste. Excellent.
Moderate whisky. I was nervous because I don’t like smoky flavor, but it’s milder than expected.
Meh. It was fine but wouldn’t do it again. Some sweet and a little smoke, but no wow factor.
All Japanese whiskeys have a grassy taste to me. This one is no different and usually turns me away from Japanese whiskeys. The difference here, which drew me in, is the hint of peat, which is excellent for those who enjoy peaty scotch. There is certainly underlying vanilla, which goes well in the glass. This is not necessary a casual drink, but is definitely an enjoyable, unique pour!
Would be better without the smoky flavor, which I’m not a fan of, but overall pretty good.
Not bad. Peat is late as is the smoke. Decent for a Smokey one
The scotch cask finish kinda ruins it imo
Very interesting taste with flavors all over the map. Definitely a strong mix of vanilla sweetness with milder smoky peat. There is a subtler note of brandy fruitiness. Not what I would typically reach for but surprisingly enjoyable.
Way too smoky. Would never buy this
Thin like an Irish whiskey, but more dynamic. I don't care for peat, but if you like it, this has it mildly on the front and nose. Smooth, with a finish of spice.
I got a sample in my Advent Calendar and tasted it blind. I could not place it. The flavors and aromas are so unique - I got a unique wood tone i couldn't identify, something like barbecue potato chips, an exotic spiciness, and a light fruit compote. Good and different. I guessed it was Japanese, and that is all I got right. Glad I tried it.
Lightly smoked and pleasantly sweet
Mildly smokey and peaty compared to Scottish counterparts...paired well with seafood
Very smokey hints with a very smooth finish. Amazing straight but also would be great for an old fashioned.
Color is light straw. Nose starts with peat, followed quickly by a sweet backbone. Notes of fresh fruit and honey are present in the background. First sip is markedly peated, with a nice smooth mouthfeel. Notes of sweetness come and go, with several distinct, but hard to identify variations on the sweetness as the peat circulates. Finish is a further intermingling of the sweat/peat combo. Despite not being able to identify specific components as well as with other Whiskies, I found this rather enjoyable.
Too much of a leather taste for my liking.
Less peat than I was expecting
Not a good taste. Harsh.
If I had tasted it in a blind tasting, I would've sworn up and down it was a scotch. Incredibly peaty with strong taste of leather. Would definitely drink again, but wouldn't recommend if you're looking for sweet/smooth whiskey.
"not knowing the specific distillery for the Islay cask is a bit of a turn off. however, this is a dream for smoke and peat lovers while broadening horizons for those not quite ready for the full blown Scotch experience. almost “meaty” borderline sherry on the lingering taste. with a touch of water more of the orange and fruitiness come forward
The Islay Cask is definitely making itself heard here. This starts out mild and sweet for a moment before descending into quite a lot of smoky peaty goodness. It has a nice drawn out finish that lingers in the best way.
Overwhelming smokey taste, like drinking burnt wood.
Very interesting and good flavors but the smokiness is just a bit overwhelming.
So good. Lots of vanilla and sweet smoke. So nice
Too Smokey sipping it neat. On the rocks, does smooth it out.
I couldn't get passed the smokey flavor on this, it was a bit overwhelming.
Strong and tasty
So much smoke and peat and dirt and charcoal I can’t really taste anything else