View Full Version : Yamazaki 12yo vs 18yo

loose proton
12-28-2009, 16:21
DeanSheen noted that some people may prefer the 12yo to the 18yo, so I pulled a bottle of each for direct comparison.

Color of both were nearly identical. Nose for both were similar with the 18yo being a little heavier. Both had very little wood flavor which is surprising given the age. Both had a similar light aftertaste.

The 12yo seemed similar to a Speyside with more spice and leather. The 12yo had an unusual, very subtle, lingering aftertaste that was NOT unpleasent but is reminiscent of tobacco smoke aftertaste..

The 18yo is a different animal entirely. More spice, leather, and an abundance of flavors. One flavor hits the tip of tongue hard, another hits the side/back, and another hits the very back - a veritable explosion of different, unusual flavors. The 18yo has considerable complexity and depth with unique flavors not found in other whiskeys I've sampled. Though the initial aftertaste is mellow, there is a long. lingering, subtle, perfumey, aftertaste.

I understand why some would prefer the 12yo; it has a more traditional profile similar to other beverages on the market, yet offers its own character. And the 12yo is more affordable at about a third the cost of the 18yo. However, I like unusual flavors and the 18yo provides that and more. In a blind taste test with 200 samples to choose from, I'd be hard pressed to tell most drinks from another, but I could definitely pick out the Yamazaki 18yo. This is one fantastic drink and every whiskey afficienado should sample it at least once.

12-28-2009, 23:36
THanks for the review. I be looking for this one at Whiskeyfest this April.

12-29-2009, 19:22
Thanks for the comparison. The Yamazaki 12 is one of my favourite whiskies. I found it has tremendous floral notes as well as sweet biscuit flavours, very rich and doughy. The only thing I have tried that is close is Glenkinchie 1992 Distillers Edition. I would love to try the 18.

02-17-2010, 14:46
I just took delivery of 5 fine bottles of Yamazaki 12.

They were on sale and I could'nt resist. Now to get home and celebrate!

02-17-2010, 15:10
I'll be over early.

loose proton
02-24-2010, 18:38
so, how did the tasting go?

02-25-2010, 03:00
I haven't tried the 18 but the 12 is very good. The Japanese make excellent whisky.

I wonder why they haven't tried to make a bourbon-style whiskey, or at least to my knowledge, they haven't.


02-25-2010, 14:45
The Japanese make excellent whisky.

I wonder why they haven't tried to make a bourbon-style whiskey, or at least to my knowledge, they haven't.


Just my opinion, but I think it is because the Japanese love, respect and admire American culture.
And American culture is something you dive into not imitate.
That's why they import so much bourbon.
Also, if you think about it, the Japanese taught us to love bourbon.

02-25-2010, 16:06
I've got a bottle of the 12 yr. This really makes me want a bottle of the 18.

02-26-2010, 07:09
I've now had the Y18, and good as it is, I'd still opt for the Y12. It just suits my tastes better for some reason and I'm not sure the Y18 is worth the extra money. I'll go out on a limb and say that Yamazaki 12 is the best whisky discovery I've made in a year or two and has now climbed firmly into my top 10 "everyday" whiskys (and is rapidly closing in on my top 5). By everyday I mean, not necessarily one of my all-time favorites, but one that I can reach for at any time and thoroughly enjoy.

02-26-2010, 07:42
The place of bourbon in American culture was well-established before bourbon arrived in Japan of course, but they did (perhaps accidentally, by thinking along malt whisky lines) influence certain aspects of the market here. Notably for super-aged product. Malt whisky seems too to have early roots in modern Japan, so maybe there was no room for a rival so to speak. Jackson in the 1988 World Guide to Whisky refers to a couple of blended whiskeys with names referencing Americana which are styled to the American taste, but these are not straight whiskeys. It may be, too, that the expense and difficulty of locating new barrels for aging dissuaded creation of a bourbon clone there. (I don't think the name was a problem even given trade laws that probably prevent the term being used there for a local product - they could have just called it whiskey). I have to pick up some Yamazaki soon, top-grade stuff.