“I wanted to capture the moment when a distiller sips a whisky to be proud of…I visualised that first taste and the associated feelings of pleasure” – Yoshio Honjo
Our 4th Edition has been seven years in the making. With only 165 bottle pairings produced, this release has been patiently and personally crafted in collaboration with celebrated Japanese-Australian artist Yoshio Honjo; and the award-winning Overeem distillery in Huntingfield, Tasmania.
For the first time, Japanese sake has been applied in seasoning two finishing casks of sublime, extra-matured single malt Tasmanian whisky from Overeem distillery. The result, a world-first and two distinct new expressions: an ex-Port Cask (Commander Yoshitsune) and an ex-Sherry Cask (Lady Shizuka) whisky pairing. An unconventional marriage converging both artistic and distilling traditions of East and West.
Yoshitsune was a military commander in the late Heian period, and is considered one of the greatest warriors of his era, and most famous Samurai fighters in the history of Japan. Shizuka Gozen, or Lady Shizuka was a court dancer, mistress to Yoshitsune, and one of the most famous women featured in Japanese chronicles and literature of the era.
Total maturation: seven years, including eleven months in Rare Cask Society custom-coopered 100 litre barrels seasoned with Japanese sake.
Lady Shizuka (Australian ex-Sherry Cask with Japanese Sake finish) ABV 60%
Colour: Duck l’orange and toffee apple.
Nose: Japanese Purin and musk melon.
Palate: Freshly baked pistachio tea cake, caramelised orange peel and Moroccan spiced almonds. A gentle and savoury mouthfeel, adorned with a menagerie of flavours including shichimi togarashi, cinnamon and Zanzibar cloves.
Finish: Warm and lingering. Reflective. Silently potent and dangerously approachable.
Commander Yoshitsune (Australian ex-Port Cask with Japanese Sake finish) ABV 64.2%
Colour: Chestnut leaves in late autumn.
Nose: Wandering through a Japanese cedarwood shrine. Sprinkled Katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and seaweed on warm rice.
Palate: A platter of overripe figs, charred bacon strips and raw honey. An opulent mouthfeel, layered with warmth, intensity and melted indulgent portions of 80% dark chocolate.
Finish: An enduring, lingering finish that warms the chest and begs for more. Ridiculously delicious.
About the Artist
Yoshio Honjo is a 2020 Archibald Prize Finalist, Japanese Artist and Tattooist residing in Sydney, Australia. His career has seen him travel the world as a prolific Tattoo Artist, working and exhibiting throughout Asia and Australia.
Yoshio’s art and tattoo practice draws inspiration from Ukiyo-E Woodblock printing, an art movement that flourished during the Edo Period in Japan. Ukiyo-E translates as ‘pictures of the floating world’ and depicts such subject matter as kabuki characters, samurai, geisha, mythical creatures, yokai (Japanese monsters), folk tales and historical references.
Yoshio’s study of Ukiyo-E has led him to create his own original, contemporary take on the iconic Japanese art movement, whilst keeping the storytelling true to the original works.
Born in the rice fields of Shiga Prefecture, Japan, Yoshio has a passion for handcrafted Japanese materials. Yoshio is currently experimenting with traditional sumo ink and shuihi-enogu, which is traditional Japanese pigment made from mud.
His canvas is skin when tattooing. However, he also paints artworks upon traditional, hand made Japanese Kozo Paper.
Learn more at: Instagram.com/yoshiohonjo
Charitable Causes for Project IV
The charitable cause selected for this Edition is the Ukrainian Crisis Appeal. This is the largest Australian fundraising effort collaboration between Rotary Australia; Caritas Ukraine; and the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations. Learn more at: www.urkrainiancrisisappeal.org