I had this once a long time ago and was impressed. Just had it again and remembered why. The nose is like a bourbon aged Speyside -- lots of oaky saw dust and cereal grain, with some light orange and lemon gumdrop aromas, almost a Springbank coconut. Very pleasant and appetite arousing. Water brings out some grassy and smoky qualities. The finish is long with citrus. I savored this with sushi. All of this is very subtle. The dominant notes are the pleasant woody aroma turning to citrus. I ignored Yamazaki 12 for a while because it is the most ubiquitous Japanese malt, but I guess there is a good reason. It's easy to enjoy.
n: nice malt and honeycomb wax, graham crackers, and floral. Very much like a fresh box of Cheerios with a peeled tangerine.
t: delicately balanced and nice with aspects from the nose but also some green banana. I get a faint hint of smoke in the middle with coy oak. Everything is very subtle but I really enjoy this. Made to pair with food (especialy sushi).
Unfortunately the price is now near the $100 mark (cho takai).
For a first-of-the-night soft sipper this is really nice. [B/B-]