I like to taste your Nikkas
This evening I went to a Nikka tasting at The Whisky Exchange in Vinopolis. Nikka being a Japanese whisky distillery company. I realise that some people will be horrified at the idea of me drinking whisky from anywhere but Scotland, but, I'll have you know, the Japanese make some crackers. As do the Irish, Welsh and Indians. I've heard good things about a Swedish whisky too, and am very much looking forward to trying something from the St. George's Distillery in a few years time.
[update: I've been asked to mention that the Uppity Colonials also make good whiskey. Unlike the less uppity northern Colonials.]
But on to my rather brief tasting notes.
- From the Barrel: this blended whisky (Nikka own two malt whisky distilleries and one grain distillery; this uses all three) is a little beauty. The nose is all honey, but the taste is fire and salt, with sap and resin in the finish. A fairly strong 51.4%, but would make a good whisky to spend several hours drinking and chatting.
- Pure malt "red label": a little peat. Nothing special.
- Pure malt "black label": a rather uninspiring nose that smelt of, well, whisky. I didn't really get anything else from it, so was prepared to be disappointed. It had a little peat, with the dominant flavours being salt and sweet. With water, it became sweeter and less salty. Quite a delicate dram, and quite different from the robust whiskies I normally go for, but I liked this a lot.
- Pure malt "white label": the nose was hard to describe - eventually we decided it was soap, hospitals and bandages. The taste, however, was utterly different. The whole mouth fills with violets and roses, like having a boozy liquid Turkish delight. This is an awesome whisky.
- Finally two ten year old single malts, one from Nikka's Miyagikyo distillery, the other from Yoichi. After having three out of four of the "impure" whiskies turn out to be stunners, I was expecting these to be really very good indeed, especially given how highly I know others rate Yoichi. But I was disappointed. Neither was particularly special, the Yoichi edging slightly ahead with a nice loooooong sweet finish.