Nose: Fruit, fruit and more fruit – the fruitiest Chichibu I’ve ever tried. Sweet apples, just-ripe pears, fresh pineapple, plump sultanas, dessert grapes and dried apricot. Coconut cream and a dusting of desiccated coconut follow, with buttery pastry and a touch of double cream not far behind. Hints of polished oak and spring-meadow honeysuckle develop.
Palate: Rich and rounded, with sweet butter and buttery pastry dipping into lightly stewed fruit: the apples and pears from the nose with a sprinkling of dried pineapple. Sake-like notes of white melon and strawberry laces build, with yeasty touches and malted milk biscuits. Soft spice sits at the back.
Finish: Green grass and flaky-pastry-topped apple pies. Gentle char notes develop with a touch of tannic pear skin.