Distillery/Brand: Nikka Yoichi
Colour: Old Gold
What is it with the Japanese? They insist on doing everything so perfectly. Just like this 15 year old beauty from the Asian powerhouse that is Nikka.
Such a heady, almost dizzying, array of aromas greet you as you say hello to this beauty from the East. There’s maple syrup covered dark fruits ladled on a stack of hot pancakes, sprinkled with woody cinnamon and then rounded off with a drizzle of sherry infused with subtle peat. Quite arresting actually.
The maple syrup and black pepper on the palate play a woody chocolatey tune that works in perfect harmony with an edgy pinch of cumin. You’ll want to mull this one over for a while.
The long, oily finish sits on your lips for ages forcing you to make smacking sounds every two seconds. This makes you look quite silly in the process.
But that’s OK…
Distillery/Brand: Nikka Miyagikyou
Colour: Full Gold
I have yet to come across a Japanese whisky that I didn’t like. Sure, some are better than others but generally any expression with Kanji symbols on the label is going to be good. And so is the case with this Miyagikyou 12.
A nice nutty nose brimming with honey coated almonds sprinkled over a bowl of treacle with a burnt caramel topping. Finally a drizzle of brandy and coconut shavings give way to something a touch floral.
Here’s where I’m a little stumped. The palate screams unmistakeable sherry but my research shows none of that. Nevertheless there are typical sherry notes in this expression. Honey and clove mixed with big fat red grapes followed by a pleasant cinnamon spiciness and ending with burnt citrus, aniseed and a pod of cardamom.
The dry finish is quite long and has a playful licorice twang to it.
But I keep going back to the palate – I’m sure there is a sherry cask in there. Somewhere!
The nose is a delightful bouquet of desserts and floral goodness. My first impression is strong custard, cookies and butterscotch. Mixed in with that are tiny rose petals sprayed with lavender mist. One of the most unique and floral noses you will ever come across. The palate is quite dry and unassuming. It doesn’t deliver with aplomb as it should! (Maybe it needs a few more ABVs but I think I’ve just developed a taste for the stronger stuff!) There is honey and toffee tossed in hay and pencil shavings. The late cinnamon and nutmeg bring on the spice. The finish is satisfyingly long!
I still want to see this as a 48% as opposed to the 43% it currently is. But what do I know?
Rating : 91
I found the nose similar to the 12yr old expression. Not sure if it’s because it’s the same family or that I just had the 12 year old. The nose was sweet like maple syrup and chocolate with touches of flora.The palate delivers full-on oak steeped in honey. Followed by dried plums and raisins. There are mild dry spices at the end. The finish is a little disappointing since it doesn’t leave me with something unique. Just a muddle of everything I just tasted.
Rating : 88
The nose is very sweet and floral with touches of honey and lavender. Extremely sweet and scented. On a second sniff I got a smattering of nutty almonds. There is a hint of cereal in there some where. The palate is quite dry and extremely sweet but is overpowered quickly with spices. Adding two drops of water opens up the nose even more and delivers strongly on the palate. The spices are gone with the addition of water. The finish is very oaky and full of woody pencil shavings. A very nice dram
Rating : 88