The Whisky Show 2021, Part 3/11: Chichibu

Following on from Part 2 [and talk of The Whisky Show’s value for money],…. up next: seven Chichibu’s!! Chichibu – founded in 2007 [some say 2004] – first came onto my radar ‘proper’, in 2016 when I had a peek-a-boo at Chichibu:

Much has changed in those five years since. Not only has Chichibu/Ichiro an established core range – as we shall see today – but there’s a 10yo too. Let’s dive on in.

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[Chichibu] Ichiro’s Malt & Grain [2021] Ob. World Blended Whisky 46.5% WB83.27[13]

The label contains all the relevant ‘malt head’ information whilst maintaining a beautiful simplicity. Chichibu offers full disclosure, a distillery embracing the favoured ‘World Blend’ model that we shall hopefully see more companies/brands embracing in the coming months & years.

  • C: An easy accessible [Lindores-esque in that respect: WLP], flawless world blend. Recommended, at the right price.

Scores 83 points

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Ichiro’s Malt & Grain [+/-2021] Ob. Limited Edition World Blended Whisky 48% WB85.33[5]

  • C: This limited edition M&G contains older juice at a higher abv in comparison to the regular M&G, and comes across exactly like that too. Whilst maintaining its accessibility, this has a broader vista/more going on. Lovely and recommended [again, if the price is right].

Scores 85 points

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This next pair started their lives as one Scottish & Japanese whisky vatting. One part ended up in wine casks, the other in mizunara. Let’s try them side by side.

[Chichibu] Ichiro’s Malt Wine Wood Reserve [2021] Ob. Blended Malt 46.5% WB88.22[12]

This one was aged in French & Japanese Pinot noir wine casks. Indeed, Japanese Pinot noir –  one of the ‘noble grapes’ – is a thing!

  • C: This one has an eggy [Ben Nevis?] funky aroma, translating on the palate as more wine driven and straight-ahead. Beautifully made if not quite up my street.

Scores 84 points

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[Chichibu] Ichiro’s Malt MWR [2021] Ob. Blended Malt Batch #107 46.5% WB85[12]

  • C: A minerallic hint on the nose with a nice bite and chew on the palate, followed by a great release towards candy-sweet creaminess at the tail. Subtle mizunara influence. Very likeable.

Scores 86 points

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Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries [+/-2021] Ob. Blended Malt 46.5% WB88.50[12]

  • C: This is a blend of Chichibu and Hanyu no less. Every one of Ichiro’s releases are wonderfully crafted and attain a distillate-faithful approach. This malt blend is a richer more rounded expression with [Irish-esque] fruity vibes on the palate and a sweet-savoury creamy finish. “Great breakfast whisky”, says Simon – another one to pair alongside that 25yo Caperdonich [WLP].

Scores 85 points

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Chichibu London Edition [2021] Ob. [1859 bts] 51.5% WB89[4] WF91

  • C: This highly anticipated release hits the spot straight off the mark. Furthermore, there’s a maturity here over & above the previous five drams. Highly desirable.

Scores 89 points

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Chichibu 10yo [2020] Ob. The First Ten [btl #3390/5000] 50.5% WB89.44[68] WF90

This “none left, all gone” 10yo emerges from under the counter. 

  • N, T & F: I guess 50.5% abv, and for once, I’m spot on! Despite the decent abv, this pancake-y malt is desirably soft throughout, [calvados-y yet not] fruity and a clean bone-dry barley sugar finish – rather typical of many of the Chichibu’s today though I’ve failed to mention it before.
  • C: An ambassador malt for the distillery and a benchmark for future releases.

Scores 89 points

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With thanks to Ed who I last saw attempting to extract a rogue cork from inside a bottle. Next up, That Boutique-y Whisky Company stand in Part 4.

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END

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4 thoughts on “The Whisky Show 2021, Part 3/11: Chichibu

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