Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Mt. Fuji Distillery. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Mt Fuji Distillery is very aptly named. Not only is it located just a few miles from the famous mountain, but the mountain itself makes its way into the whisky. The distillery sources their water from mountain snowmelt, an extremely unique process. This distillery is nothing new, but is new to a lot of people right now.
Mt Fuji is owned by the beer company Kirin Ichiban, and employs beer production equipment and methods in their whisky distillation.The distillery has been in production since 1973, but didn’t hit the US market until just last year. They distill malted barley, corn, and rye into two expressions: a blend and a single grain.
What’s really unique here is that Mt. Fuji is not only mixing the types of grain in their whisky, but how they’re distilling the grains in the first place. They distill with multi-column stills, kettle stills, and doubler stills to create three very different distillates. They describe them as “Scotch style, Canadian style, and Bourbon style,” respectively.
The single grain expression utilizes all three distillates. My personal experience with single grain whiskies (of which I’m a big fan) has been more Scotch-focused. This definitely hits differently. The distillery describes their Scotch-style element as “lighter, soft, yet compelling.” I would say that generally tracks. This whisky, however, adds a heaviness and richness that indicates the other styles. It makes for a more unique single grain than one often sees. I’m glad that this has become available on the U.S. market because it expands the range of what a single grain can be.
Tasting Notes: Fuji Single Grain Whisky
Vital Stats: 92 Proof, 46% ABV, 750ml, $199
Appearance: Bright amber with a muddied tint. Legs are scattered and crooked, unevenly spaced, and moving quickly.
Nose: Cocoa is predominant. Fresh cream mellows and brightens alongside it, with a spicy touch of white pepper.
Palate: Thick and very soft texture. The cocoa from the nose comes across more as dark chocolate on the palate, then morphs into dulce de leche on the mid palate. The sweetness mellows and loses the confectionery touch as it becomes dried apple. Red wine notes come in at the end with a bit of fruitiness and a drying element.
This is a whisky to take your time with. It really does change as it sits and warms up, and that change is entirely positive. The initial impact suggests a youth to this whisky that softens and refines a bit with a few minutes. I enjoyed this whisky and found it interesting, however; I find the price point to be far too above the quality.
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Talia is part of the Portland service industry community, and an alumna of the Multnomah Whiskey Library. She’s an avid spirit and cocktail enthusiast, and likes to experience them both academically and recreationally. When not sipping whiskey she’s a ceramic artist and lover of travel.