Fukano Single Cask K&L Exclusive from Whisky’s Hottest Region – Japanese Whisky News

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It’s been more than three years since we were last able to purchase a single cask of whisky directly from Japan. Given the way the market’s heading, it may be another three years before we get the chance again. As our customer service staff will attest: not even Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon is as hot as Japanese whisky right now considering the amount of phone calls and email requests we receive daily from consumers. In the midst of all the madness, however, our buyers discovered a new product from a small producer called Fukano, a distillery that’s been making rice-based products since 1823. It seemed the historic producer was branching out into rice-based whiskies and K&L was their first choice for an American trial run. Due to a conflict of labeling laws, Fukano Japanese whisky isn’t even available in Japan! It’s an American exclusive for the moment and this single cask is only available directly from K&L. The flavors are somewhere in between Suntory’s Hibiki and Nikka’s Coffey Still expressions, so fans of the incredibly mellow and smooth-tasting flavors of Japanese whisky will be more than pleased. Only 446 total bottles were produced, so count yourself as lucky if you get one!

AA Fukano

Fukano K&L Exclusive Single Cask #282 Japanese Whisky (750ml) ($79.99)

This exceptional distillery in the city of Kumamoto on the southern island of Kyushu has been distilling since 1823. They’re famous for a diverse offering of Shochus and high quality liqueurs, but a tiny portion of their production is devoted to malted rice distillation. In Japan, these old whiskies are not bottled as such, though they do meet the definition by American standards. Instead they use them to make their high-end liqueurs, which is sad for them, but GREAT for us. This rare spirit is aged much like bourbon in new charred oak casks. The result is something absolutely sublime and uniquely Japanese. While one might be expecting Shochu squared, we’re in fact in a totally different arena altogether. Nothing like you might have had from other producers bringing in similarly labeled product. Somewhere between scotch, bourbon and “other whisky”, both the complexity of aromatics and texture on the palate are surprising. This cask has a vibrant nose of nut brittle, spiced fruit, lemon rind, and almond butter. A very subtle oceany quality persists in the back ground. Supremely drinkable but not without a pop on the backend, this is a true bridge between Single Malt and Bourbon. We have no doubt that everyone is going to love drinking this, although its limited nature makes it a strong candidate for most regrettable failure to click of the year. It’s our first single cask Japanese whisky since the famous Karuizawas of 2013, don’t expect it to last much longer than those did.

Dulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 27, 2016

Attn: Japanese whisky faithfuls and beyond! Here is a truly unique spirit that makes the perfect after dinner whiskey. With the aromas of candied corn reminiscent of a wheated bourbon or even a lighter Armagnac, this spirit is totally seamless with equal parts elegance and richness. The middle shows sweet flavorful notes of a creme brulee meets toffee. Totally smooth and delicious. Get’em while you can!

Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 27, 2016

In the quest for more Japanese whiskey our buyer has found this exclusive Single Cask for us. The nose opens with soft vanilla and some dried fruit, reminiscent of a wheated bourbon. Soft creamy vanilla notes and a wonderfully smooth finish, this is a fun, unique whiskey to try. For those who were a fan of Nikka Coffee this is another more complex whiskey that should appeal to you.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 27, 2016

This whiskey is for those who are looking for a soft and easy to drink spirit. It has expressive and inviting sweet vanilla aromas. In the mouth it is soft and fruity with a kiss of sweetness. If you like the Nikka Coffrey whiskey I think that you will enjoy the Fukano.

K&L Wine Merchants http://www.klwines.com/ Phone: 877-KLWines (toll free 877-559-4637) Email: wine@klwines.com San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood CA

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