Watches & Whisky: Yamazaki 12-Year-Old & Ressence Type 1²

Yamazaki and Ressence

Japanese Craftsmanship: Yamazaki is one the first Japanese distillery to be built. Established in 1923 and situated in the vale of Yamazaki, the whisky is born from the natural craftsmanship and climate of Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, an area of dense bamboo grooves at the foot of Mt. Tennozan. In 1984, the Yamazaki 12-year-old single malt whisky was released. At that time, single malt whiskies were enjoyed only by certain enthusiasts globally and it was an adventure, in a time when blended whisky was holding a dominant share. The 12-year-old expression is intense, confident and yet elegant: this single malt whisky directly presents these features of the Yamazaki distillery.

On the nose: you get a burst of crisp, red apples coupled with cinnamon. You’ll also get a waft of marmalade, with a hint of jasmine tea and Mizunara. On the palate: those notes of fresh, crisp, red apples and jasmine tea will be confirmed. Followed up with orange, cinnamon and a bit of clove spice. There are also some lingering Mizunara notes in there too.  The finish: is long, very, very smooth and warming, with spicy ginger notes and lingering pineapples.

The verdict: Thoroughly enjoyable and amazing fruity Japanese single malt whisky. Is it a very elegant drop but also has some welcomed bold notes too that are very well-balanced. In my opinion it doesn’t need any water but if required then only add in small quantities until it is right for you. That said, you can always leave for around 5 – 7 minutes to breathe, which will open it up that bit more.

Info: ABV 43% in a 70cl bottle

Belgian Craftsmanship: Ressence is perhaps one of, if not the most, ground-breaking horological marvels of the 21st century. While it is obvious one cannot reinvent the wheel, you could say that what Ressence have done is reinterpret the way it rotates. It is ingenious but what makes the Type 1² even more desirable is its newly formed case structure and most importantly, its ease of use.

The Type 1² doesn’t resemble the traditional dial layout you are perhaps more accustomed to seeing, yet it is still just as intuitive, functional and without doubt more playful and arguably more organic than one would’ve thought. The Type 1² makes use of a display system we’ve seen before. Based on the dial layout of the Type 1, which displays hours, minutes and seconds, as well as a weekday display, what is most certainly welcomed is the variation of dial colours that are available. (Silver, Ruthenium, Night Blue and Champagne)

The most interesting, eye-catching aspect of the new Type 1² must be its 41mm case. It doesn’t stray too far from the other Type models in the collection, however, it is distinctive and makes use of a material Ressence haven’t used before: stainless steel. The cushion shaped case is formed from the intersection of 6 spheres, which affords an understated look.

The Type 1² is physically driven by the ROCS 1 module that has been updated with a quickset say function and is directly connected to the minute axel of the base movement.

The Type 1² is to date the thinnest timepiece Ressence has made, measuring 11.5 mm For this model, Ressence has done away with the simple and arguably ornate time setting mechanism. Instead, they have deployed an easy-to-use, machined, steel lever system that not only allows for a thinner case overall but looks beautiful too. The Type 1², is distinct and has an well-engineered look and sense about it but yet, still has an softer, organic side. It is simply a beautiful piece of Belgian craftsmanship.

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