Whisky Review #28 – Yamazaki 18 Years Old

Credits: WhiskyGeeks

Yamazaki 18 Years Old is released in 1994, 10 years after the success of Yamazaki 12 year old. It was received with much anticipation by the industry. This legendary whisky is a classic and up till today, it is highly praised for its complexity and flavours. Yamazaki 18 years old has received numerous awards, but the most prominent ones are a gold award in the World Whiskies Awards in both 2014 and 2016 as well as Best Japanese Single Malt in 2015.

The price and rarity of Yamazaki 18 years old has steadily increased with the number of awards it won. It is no longer a bottle that you can easily find in duty-free stores, not even in Japan. You can find it on the secondary markets, but at a crazy price.


(1) San Francisco World Spirit Compeition 2005 – Double Gold
(2) International Spirit Challenge 2007 – Gold
(3) World Whiskies Awards 2014 – Gold for Japanese Single Malt 13 – 20 years
(4) World Whiskies Awards 2015 – Best Japanese Single Malt
(5) World Whiskies Awards 2016 – Gold for Japanese Single Malt 13 – 20 years

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Copper
ABV: 43%

Nose: Rich fruit cake on Christmas Day comes to mind as you take in the nose. Raisins, apples and cinnamon sticks coupled with dried dates are mixed with woody oakiness, some sulphur and a pleasant smokiness. (17 points)

Palate: Smooth and mellow, with strong raisins and red fruits on the palate before the oakiness and smoke comes in to balance it off. Hint of a rich, sinful chocolate cakes comes in towards the end. A perfect mix of sweet and spice. (17 points)

Body: It is a well rounded whisky that is rich and flavourful. The smooth velvety feel in the mouth feesl luxurious. (30 points)

Finish: Long, lingering finish of a luxuriously rich chocolate cake, raisins, light peat and some wood. (16 points)

Total Grade: 80 points

Geek Flora: “I love the Yamazaki 18 years old because of its rich fruity notes. The hints of chocolate adds appeal. Even the wood and light peat is pleasant. Nonetheless, it is still another whisky that I can live without, especially when the price  has risen considerably since it started bagging numerous awards.”

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