Ths Spirit of Asama is an incredible, legendary whisky from Japan's Karuizawa distillery. It is a vatting of 77 different sherry casks which were laid down in 1999 and 2000. The sherry character in the finished dram is just astounding, as is the almost rancio-like flavour on the palate. Excellent! Nose: Almond and hazelnut, hints of pine resin and Christmas cake. A touch of morello cherry, boiled sweets and dessert wine, hints of spice, truffle and pine needles. Palate: Incredibly rich palate entry with notes of sultanas and dark chocolate. Calves leather, soft smoke and overripe grape. Clove oil and nutmeg come late palate, as does the vaguest hints of rancio/truffles. Finish: Forest floor, sweet sherry and gentle wood smoke. Leathery.