Oh the amount of sophomoric humor that we could launch into from the name of this malt…I will refrain however, in a more than likely futile attempt to maintain any semblance of dignity this blog might have. Nikka is the second of Japan’s large distilleries that rivals Suntory. And what has become an all too common theme, Nikka is not available in the United States at this time. Nikka has two distilleries: Yoichi (余市), located in the city of Yoichi on the northern island of Hokkaido and Miyagikyou (宮城峡) in the northern part of the Japanese main island of Honshu.
Nikka has a line up of Yoichi 12 year old whiskies that used to be called the Key Malt Series. They have since been re-branded, but the names still carry over. They are all aged for 12 years and impart different flavors. Today I am siping on the Woody and Vanillic expression. They do not provide too much information about the spirit, other than it is at least 12 years old and is bottled at 55%ABV. Sorry the picture has a couple of the other expressions in it, I will review those shortly.
Color: Dark amber
Nose: Pears, sarsaparilla, apple juice, fairly heavy oak, vibrant and lively…something good is happening here.
Palate: Really strong initially, the oak kicks in hard – but not over oaky for my tastes, a lot of malt, I think I taste where they get the vanilla from (might just be a placebo – will have to taste blind), mushroom/earthy tones, a little bit of salt in there too.
Finish: Short, its like it evaporated but leaves traces of the oak, mushrooms and the alcohol heat.
Comment: The nose really set this up but the palate faltered some and the finish really let me down. It could be so much more! Decent dram.