We really enjoy the single cask line up from Nikka’s Yoichi distillery. Unfortunately they don’t market them much and they can be difficult to find. I have only been able to get them directly from the distillery in Yoichi. We tasted the 5 y/o, 10 y/o and the 25 y/o.
This time we are visiting the 15 y/o expression that is bottled at 60% ABV. Cask No. 235296
Color: 18k gold
Nose: Peat up front, soft waves of smoke, coastal, malty, dense oak, earthy.
Palate: Initial sweetness then shifts into more earthy and fungal flavors. Good balance with the peat hanging out in the background, some salt too.
Finish: Long with the peat lingering till the end.
Comments: Again, a great single cask expression, nice and lively and I think it is better balanced than the 10 y/o – of which I am a huge fan of.
I wish tasting Nikka’s whiskies was a full-time Job. The line-up is solid and I am always finding new characteristics with each visit… right next to the bedrock flavors I keep returning to. The 15 year brings a tinge of orange, a darker edge to Nikka’s golden hue. Peat, wood, and saltwater taffy get out front in the nose. The heat is there but the full 60% is holding back. The initial sip is front-loaded with candied oak that gives way to reduced vanilla and mushroom. The entire palate darkens into a warm, slightly peaty cheek-chewing experience that lasts as long as you like. The heat tips its cards here, not with a spicy burn but a dense, burnt sugar numbing. It is a shame that one usually needs a boarding pass, a passport, and a week off to pick up a bottle of this.