Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Score: 9.3 / 10
Distillery: Nikka Yoichi / Miyagikyo
Type: Blended Japanese Grain and Malt
The whisky that is most near and dear to my heart. I love Nikka and think they are absolutely one of the best whisky brands of Japanese whisky. I brought this back from Japan..... before it was cool, soooo yeah. That chain of events eventually led to the creation of the Po It Up whiskey podcast. I wouldn't be writing this whisky review, (or any other for that matter) if it wasn't for this whisky.
Despite the name, this is not a barrel proof or single barrel whisky. However, coming in at 51.4% alcohol was the perfect percentage for blender Masataka Taketsuru. The attention to detail of blending 100.... yes I said 100, individual whiskys together to form what is Nikka from the Barrel is truly astounding. Attention to detail and the artisan-ship of the Japanese culture is on full display here. Japan learned everything about making whisky from Scotland, and it comes out nicely in this expression. In my opinion, it even has a slight American whiskey edge, though it is slight. A very unique drinker. If you love scotch and bourbon, dive into the Japanese world of whiskey and I think you will be pleasantly surprised by anything Nikka or Suntory.
I you need more, check out this whisky and others from the Nikka line on episode 9 of our whiskey podcast Po It Up here.
Nose: Lemon, orange and caramel dominate the nose right out of the gates. oak and ginger linger in the background blending perfectly together.
Palate: Lots of orange and butterscotch with oak and caramel mixed in. It has bite, but a sugary sweetness calms it down quickly before fading into the finish.
Finish: Medium - long finish. Citrus fruits, oak and caramel carry through the entire process and evolve into a subtle tobacco and final lemon finish.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Notes: Availability? Rare. In Japan, this stuff is most places and you should get an ample amount of it. In the US. I only know one store that carries it and it doesn't sit on the shelf anymore.
Last Christmas my gf and I were skipping gifts as we had bought a ton of stuff for each other throughout the year. I was going to get her an empty bottle of this as a "thoughtful" gift so she would have something to open. However, to my complete surprise I stumbled across a bottle a few days before. Imma let you finish, person that is saying anything else about whiskey, but Nikka FTB is one of the best performers of all time..... So I had to get it. When she opened it, her face lit up. Simultaneously I was greeted with a look from her father that said, "I never thought I would see the day my daughter was excited to open up a bottle of whiskey......"