Got this as a Xmas gift from my wife. I gotta tell ya the presentation was top notch! Superb quality on the bottle itself and the attractive Samurai armor. I was hoping the liquid within would match my emotion towards the exterior since I love the culture. When I undid the seal, I got a quite noticeable woody aromatic. This had me excited. Unfortunately, it was a one trick pony and could never get the same intensity again several pours later. The nose from the glass yielded light oak and vanilla. The flavor had a similar effect, but with a touch of earth and spice. This is where it lost points for me. The finish seemed to be very short-lived and tasteless. At times I did get the trademark japanese grain character, but was very inconsistent. The smoothness salvaged it a bit. I'm not a Japanese whisky aficionado by far, but have tried a couple others such as Nikka Coffey and Suntori's upper echelon Hibiki. This doesn't really compare. Not to say this is to be avoided, just nothing to rave about. That aside, this definitely can be a casual drinker. Or better yet, a fair intro for dipping ones toes in the Japanese Whisky waters so to speak. I definitely appreciate it enough to finish the bottle, but it won't be a go to or must have.