Malt & Grain is his only blend available in the US. But there's a twist. Malt & Grain is an “All-World Blend”, the first of its kind. It is primarily composed of Ichiro's Japanese single malt whisky with a selection of Scotch, Irish whiskey, Canadian Rye and American Whiskey aged in home country 3-5 years, transferred to Chichibu and then aged again on site for an additional 1-3 years. Ichiro’s Malt: Malt & Grain is blended to balance a heart of Japanese whisky complimented by the major whisk(e)y regions of the world.
Nose: Starts like a sweet but delicate vanilla that then quickly develops into a tart bouquet of orange and apple with the alcohol manifesting a bit like a sauvignon blanc. That eventually tones down to a more subdued combination of toffee, pear and plums – again with a twinge of alcohol that’s like white wine, only this time a bit like pinot gris.
Palate: Very similarly to the nose, the first sip starts off like a very delicate vanilla with just the faintest hints of sweet tropical fruit and flowers. That gradually transitions to more of a hazelnut-like vanilla with a flare of ginger to it, gradually building in spiciness as a notes of pepper and peat develop. Swallowing takes an interesting turn as it leads to a wave of a nutty, pepper in the back the mouth, which then quickly ebbs away. That leads to a brief pause before another wave gently rolls tasting first of honey, then of a firm but gentle surge of pepper. That finally fades into a honey-like coating on the tongue with a very faint tickle of ginger.