The first Japanese whisky I purchased few months ago, this is a Pure Malt or Blended Malt Whisky in Scotch terms. It contains a vet of whiskies from both Yoichi and Miyagikyo, this bottling is a blend of malts aged 10 years on average in different types of oak casks. Higher percentage of Miyagikyo, with sherry cask malts blended to give it a sweeter notes. Well, all that according to Nikka’s website.
You can still grab the age-stated ones in Japan, the 12, 17, and 21 could be found not in some shops around Tokyo (my friend spotted them alongside some Yamazaki 12 and Hakushu 12), and they are also available in Hong Kong, they don’t seem to like selling it outside of Asia.
Nikka Taketsuru NAS
Container: Glencairn Neat
Colour: Medium gold-amber (E150)
Nose: Right off the bet, a welcoming sweet nose, you can tell some of the sherry casks are present here. Sweet stewed fruits, blend of apples, some citrus, and berries. Oak undertones, some vanilla, and a hint of spice.
Palate: Oak, not as fruity as the nose suggests, hints of saltiness, a bit hot on the palate, orange, some caramel sweetness.
Finish: Medium finish, Gingery spice, oak, some weird notes, metallic?
The nose was somewhat promising, but the taste and finish fails to deliver, like not much going on wouldn’t buy again at this price. No wonder why they use this stuff to make highball. I actually liked it few months back when I first started my whisky adventure, as my palate develop I like some whisky less now, and this is one of them.
Here we are, Nikka From The Barrel, a blend of Miyagikyo and Yoichi malts with a “unique grain whisky”, who knows what that is. Apparently these are really cheap in Japan like $20-30 a bottle, I kinda paid 2-3x the price for it. Hopefully the higher proof makes it nicer than the Taketsuru NAS.
Nikka From the Barrel
Container: Glencairn Neat
Colour: Amber (E150)
Nose: Oak, Vanilla, plums, sharp alcohol, caramel, leather, spices, hints of tropical fruit, caramel.
Palate: Oaky, followed by some spicy notes, cinnamon and ginger, very nice mouth feel, caramel, oranges, vanilla, medium tannins, and some fruity notes if I could get behind all these spices.
Finish: Lingering spices, salted caramel, ginger, a hint of smoke, slight bitterness? and more oak.
Really enjoyable dram, but not one that I would go back wanting for a dram frequently, have touched it for a long time. This is much better than the Taketsuru NAS, this is like the Taketsuru with the complexity, spices, and richness dialed up to 11. Would buy again if I find it for a cheaper price.