Finally got a counter part to the Yamazaki and Hibiki lines, which have been unavailable lately due to popularity. The similar Japanese whiskies we got in from Nikka were a real treat to try, elegant and supremely well crafted, definitely going to give Suntory a run for their money in the coming years. Nikka currently owns two distilleries: Yoichi and Miyagikyo. Here’s what we got in:
–Taketsuru 12 Year Pure Malt: Made from an artisanal mingling of stocks from the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. The single malt whiskies are vatted together, helping to marry the flavors, and bottled at an approachable 40% alcohol (80 proof). “Pure Malt” is some what of an invented term by Nikka, but it serves the purpose for what they mean. It’s 100% malt whiskey, not containing the cheaper grain whiskies or neutral spirits that would warrant a “Blended Whiskey” title, but since it’s from two distilleries instead of one they needed a designation other than single malt, hence the name pure malt. The overall flavors are really complex with just a hint of peat, some floral notes and a really lush caramely oak character.
–Yoichi 15 Year Single Malt: This single malt from the Yoichi Distillery is a little more delicate and refined than the 12 year Taketsuru. It’s bottled at a more concentrated 45% alcohol (90 proof) yet has a cleaner flavor and is more soft and silky on the palate. It has engaging flavors of wild flower honey, white florals, cereal grain, brown sugar and nougat. A beautifully balanced whiskey that I’m glad to see is finally available stateside.
Give these a try if you get a chance. Cheers