Review #13: Fukano 2018
5 out of 10. Average. Not exceptional in a good way or a bad way.
Label if it were an SMWS: “Try Again”.
Overview: Loved the 2017 and single cask bottlings, but sadly the 2018 misses the mark by falling far on the acetone & paint thinner side of the equation.
Bought for: $85/bottle
I know the recent reviews have been a bit on the lower end, but it mostly has to do with us trying to get rid of a lot of whiskies for 2019 and to make space for new purchases :). So we wrote a bunch of tasting notes… and then brought these badboys to large social gatherings where the complexity of whisky matters far less than its proof. For now, we apologize, but this review and the next are not going to be the most stellar.
Nose: Nail polish remover, Red-40 soaked cherry that you put into Fuddrucker’s sundaes and the Old Fashioned’s that are eyeballed and muddled with orange peel and bright red cherries at dive bars. Heavy background of wood and vanilla.
Palate: Caramel and butterscotch upfront, turns to orange tangy frozen yogurt, cinnamon spice and dark fruits.
Finish: Bitter chocolate and more of the ethyl acetate paint thinner.
I’ll be honest: we bought the 2018 with super high expectations, because the 2017 and the Single Cask K&L version were extremely scrummy (unexpectedly so!). The 2018 ended up just being… lackluster. Now the rest of the bottle is safe in the hands of alcohol-loving MMA fighters, so we are glad it’s at least appreciated.
Fukano is an aged rice based spirit, i.e. a shochu. By law this can’t be sold as whisky in Japan, but can in the US. More about Shochu production.
No age statement.
Aged in used 8 European oak casks and 3 refill Sherry casks.
Located in central Hakushu, the southernmost island of Japan. The distillery is on the Kama river, next to Oishi distillery.
The distillery started in 1823, and now run by the fifth-generation in the family.
Not even available in Japan.
Fukano means “impossible” in Japanese.
Whiskey ranked number 20 in Whiskey Advocate's Top 20 Whiskies of 2017 (note: we can only assume this means the 2017 edition?)