The Chita Single Grain Japanese whisky

Type: Single grain Japanese whisky

Origin: Japan Japan on Google Android 8.1

ABV: 43%

Malt Mileage rating: ⭐⭐⭐ Continue reading “The Chita Single Grain Japanese whisky”

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

Type: Single grain Japanese whisky

Origin: Japan Japan on Google Android 8.1

ABV: 45%

Malt Mileage rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Continue reading “Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky”

Akashi Japanese single malt whisky (White Oak Distillery)

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Recommended use: Serve neat/ mixed with ice and sparkling water/ with Japanese food 

Malt Mileage Rating: (4/6) ★★★★ 

Type: Japanese single malt whisky 

Origin: Japan

ABV: 46%

Price: US$80 / AU$120 / £50
Continue reading “Akashi Japanese single malt whisky (White Oak Distillery)”

Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve single malt Japanese whisky

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Recommended use: Serve neat, mixed with ice and sparkling water with a sprig of mint or slice of cucumber 

Malt Mileage Rating: (4/6) ★★★★ 

Type: Japanese single malt whisky 

Origin: Japan

ABV: 43%

Price: AU$80 / US$60 / £40

Continue reading “Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve single malt Japanese whisky”

Suntory Yamazaki 18 Year Old

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The popularity of Japanese whisky has risen to incredibly heights, and one of the most famous brands of Japanese whisky is Yamazaki. Yamazaki 18 year old is superb sipping whisky. but it is far from perfect.  The whisky itself is dominated by oak and projects subdued tannins, saw dust, sherry and sappy wood. The other character in the whisky hides beneath that almost murky granulated wood, but occasionally shines through with orchard fruit, citrus, rose Turkish delight and subtle floral notes. It is an absolutely delightful sipping whisky that I enjoyed for a good hour, but its heavy oakiness seemed to detract from that enjoyment.

Last seen for $275, this is an outrageously expensive whisky and to be absolutely honest I would not rush out and buy this whisky, even at half its asking price.

Nikka All Malt

Spirit Name:

Spirit Type:

Nikka All Malt

Whisky (Malt blend of Yoichi, Miyagikyo malts and whisky distilled in coffey stills)
Score:
82/100
ABV:
40%
Region:
Japan 
Body:
Light-medium
Intensity:
Mild 
Texture:
Silky 
Balance:
Excellent 
Best served:

Neat
Themes: Grassy, ash, nail varnish, vanilla, apple, honey, cinnamon, jams, raisin, candied fruit, sesame crisps, anise seed liqueur


Blind tasting notes:
Nose: Soft waves of cooked apple roll over honey, cinnamon and vanilla as the aroma of waxy fruit scented candles and raspberry/blueberry jam accompany luscious chocolate notes and more course grain notes which develop with grassy notes. The vanillas and grain notes however latch onto a harsh nail polish and a cigarette butt smoked for too long, which stings the nose ever so slightly. 

Taste:  Very smooth and a lovely mouth-feel, the sweet notes unfurl without getting too excessive – subtle shades of winy raisin notes develop with candied fruit and layers of vanilla as sesame crisps burst with syrup and bitter oiliness. 

Finish: Sweet, caramelised sugars linger with the sesame crisps and the bite of sugary anise seed liqueur.

Likes:
Smoothness and softness 
Dislikes:
Some course varnish and ashy notes interrupt the waves of smoothness
Price:
$80 (Aus)


Yamazaki 12 Year Old

Spirit Name:
Spirit Type:
Yamazaki 12 Year Old
Single malt
Score:
82/100
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ABV:
Region:
Japan
Body:
Medium
Intensity:
Medium-light
Texture:
Medium
Balance:
Good
Best served:
Neat
Theme(s):
Sweet, candied fruit, raisins, apple, rum, mocha, vanilla, citrus, cinnamon
Summary:
The benefit of blind tasting whisky is that reviews are not influenced by hype and marketing. Yamazaki is certainly a brand of Japanese whisky that receives a lot of attention by the whisky community, but truth be told it left me unimpressed and wondering what all the fuss is about. While it offers a lovely crisp smoothness that fills the palate with candied fruit, soft layers of vanilla with hints of cinnamon and the tang of citrus with apple, it does not (in my opinion) offer the same level of enjoyability as Yoichi or the slightly cheaper Nikka Pure Malt whiskies. In my humble opinion, Yamazaki make great whisky but there are other Japanese distilleries that produce even better whisky for a better price!
Price:
£46 (UK), $100 (Aus)

Nikka Pure Malt Black

★★★

Score: 85/100
ABV: 43%
Region: Japan
Body: Light
 
Intensity:
Light-medium
Texture:
Watery-medium  
Balance:
Superb 
Best served:
Neat
Theme(s): Sweet peat, apple, cotton candy, wet oak, cocoa
Likes: Distinct Japanese sweetness with bursts of peat

Dislikes: Syrupy sweetness, weak finish  
Price: $100

The Nikka Pure Malt Black is a Japanese whisky comprising of whisky primarily from the Yoichi distillery. It is bottled at 43% alcohol volume, but packs a mean Judo chop to the palate! (which then dies too quickly). This whisky has been praised by other reviewers, but I struggle to see what all the fuss is about. It struck me as a little unbalanced towards the sweet side, and it was somewhat dominated by sherry which suffocated the peat and smoke I was expecting.

Nikka writes that Yoichi produces “rich, peaty and masculine malt”, and that this distillery’s whisky gets a distinct flavour and aroma from the use of “finely powered natural coal” used to heat the pot stills. That’s the first time I’ve heard a whisky described as “masculine”… I better not touch that one.

This whisky is described as having a strong peated flavour, so I blind tasted this whisky alongside other peated whiskies including the Ardbeg Galileo, Lagavulin 16 Year Old and Sheep Dip “Old Hebridean” 1990. The Nikka Pure Malt Black was, in my opinion, the least impressive. That said, it is still very good in my view.

Tasting Notes – Nikka Pure Malt Black 

This whisky is not, as Nikka claim, heavily peated or rugged in the sense that it is “masculine”. It is in fact light and soft, with undertones of peat rising up through the sweetness. The sweetness is syrupy and at its foundation is sherry and light caramel.  

Nose 

Initially dull on the nose, the soft and sweet peat rises up with very mild licorice and sugary candy gently shines with bright fresh apple slices; Granny Smith (green) apple in particular. This has a distinct candied sweetness about it, that balances nicely against the peat and oak.

Taste 

An initial burst of sweet peat morphs into sparks of dry grass burning gently (no apple in sight!), and then a sweetness develops in the form of sugary sherry that has undertones of burnt caramel that releases a mild bitterness with helpings of oak and cocoa. The sweetness does become quite syrupy after a while, and this sugary character lingers on the palate. Again, this has a distinct candied character within the theme of peat; though I would disagree that the peat in this whisky is in any way dominant. In fact, I would say the sweetness dominates somewhat. I also would not say this whisky is “rich”, as it has quite a brittle body to be called “rich” and while it has some clout this is short lived.

Finish

The finish is pleasant, but the sweetness is one dimensional on the finish with some sparks of peat. The finish is not powerful, and I was a little disappointed with the weakness of the finish. Even still, I really like this whisky.

Nikka "from the barrel"


Alcohol content of 51.4%

♛ – Distinctive style, very enjoyable

This whiskey gracefully meets the nose with a blast of rich oak and citrus, as nutty almonds give softness to the sharp bite of glazed cherries and brandy; lovely Christmas cake on the nose with icing to boot. 
Bottled at 51.4%, the Nikka “by the barrel” packs a punch… or should I say, jumping spinning heel kick! This whisky is particular has grown on me, with its rich oily texture and bursts of sweetness all flooded with bitter-sweet cocoa and orange peel.  
With water that sometimes over the top sweetness mellows and softens, allowing bitterness and saltiness to shine through. The oak takes a lead role, as the sherry and sweetness are met with gushes of vanilla and cream. The finish, though, dies more quickly when water is added. 
Overall this is a great whisky, and excellent value!