Archive for the ‘Vatted Malts’ Category

Nikka Pure Malt White 45%

Tasted: June 2006

Clean, rich, fruity and very complex. Gentle peat mingles with pure apricot and mandarins in fruit juice, moist honey, gentle oak, sweet vanilla and earthy malt. Lovely balanced nose with layers of honeyed fruit and a granity freshness.

Sweet entry with loads of soft honeyed fruit, gentle peat and smoke which really kicks in on the middle. Superb length with the fruit backing up the peat. Very long and harmonious with a touch of liquorice on the finish.

Nikka Pure Malt White 43%

Re-Tasted: May 2015

Quite a coastal nose with luscious dried apricot, sultana, vanilla and hints of coconut. Quite malty and succulent with a late earthy peat note. Lovely balance of American oak and sherry.

Full and rich on the palate. Opens with softly spiced sherry fruit and dusty spice, followed by salt, dried apricot, malt and vanilla. Like the nose it is exquisitely balanced with a long, gently peated, vanilla and salt finish. Dry, slightly chocolaty tannic after-taste.

Nikka Pure Malt Black  45%

Tasted: June 2006

Clean, deeper, more intense aromas of darkly honeyed fruit, marzipan, smoky liquorice infused orange fruit and distant coastal bonfires – fantastic, very complex, balanced, polished and smooth.

Quite oily on the palate with liquid honey fruit followed by waves of briny peat, phenolics and tangy fruit. Sweet malt and liquorice descends into a crisp, smoky, coastal finish. Superb balance, nice sweetness, very long and harmonious.

Nikka Pure Malt Black 43%

Re-Tasted: Nov 2015

Deep, rich aromas of intensely treacly sherry and dusty peat. Hints of barley, greengage, marmalade orange, buttery vanilla and fresher citrus notes appear along with some resiny oak (mizunara?). It feels like the blend is predominantly from Miyagikyo.

The palate is full and soft with the sherry influence far subtler. Lightly herbal with dusty peat and a lovely cleansing citrus middle plus hints of barley and green apple. Long taught oak and wood spice finish with a slightly austere, minerally, lightly salted after-taste.

Nikka Pure Malt Red 43%

Tasted: Dec 2012

Quite a herbal and ferny nose with hints of honey an lightly sherried dried fruits. With time the oak asserts itself with hints of fudge and marzipan also some orange notes appear, liberally sprinkled with chocolate powder.

The palate is soft and gentle, opening with the sherried dried fruits with hints of liquorice. Slightly plummy on the middle with a fair degree of herbal-honey. Good depth with a lightly salted, slightly nutty finish and a return of the chocolate powder in the after-taste.


Super Nikka 55.5%

Tasted: Oct 2005

Quite youthful aromas of citrus fruit, sherry wood spices and a touch of smoke. The palate is mellow with some citrus and plenty of sherry wood spices. Quite balanced with a good citrus complexity and a slightly smoky finish.

Water brings out a floral orangeMuscatnote whilst on the palate it brings out some vanilla nuances.


Nikka All Malt 40%

A Vatting of Pot Still and Coffey Still Malt whisky/ Tasted: Nov 2009

A lovely nose of rich honey and dried fruits. There is an abundance of sweet oak vanillins and it has a definite bite to it which puts me in mind of a good rye whisky, along with wood spices and liquorice notes.

The palate is soft and oaky – vanilla, coconut, dried fruit and more vanilla. Again that ‘grainy’ nip appears, which I would imagine comes from the Coffey Malt as I made a similar observation when tasting the 12 year old Coffey malt. The finish however lets it down and it is a bit flat, watery and overly saccharine.


Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt No Age Statement 43%

Tasted: Feb 2016

Nose: Dense and slightly treacly aromas with subtle Oloroso sherry and a smidge of peat. Fresh and well balanced with prunes in syrup, malt and a hint of sweet vanilla.

Palate: A huge wave of voluptuous vanilla oak and silky dried fruit, malt and subtle peat. Deep and spicy with the alcohol balancing and a little drying tannins coming through on the middle.

Finish: Long and gently peated with a lovely salty, vanilla finish.

Conclusion: Spectacularly good! 

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt No Age Statement 43%

Re- Tasted: March 2016

Beautiful aromas of fragrant orange, chunky malt and Oloroso sherry. Lovely depth with a seam of fresh barley and a touch of sweet American oak. Lightly smoked with hints of earth, peat and violets.

The palate opens with the soft, creamy American oak and barley. The sherry is a lot subtler. Hints of malt, smoke and earthy peat follow. Very harmonious with the American oak to the fore but augmented by the sherried dried fruit. Long and crisp with some spirit character coming through. Good malty, mocha after-taste. 

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 43%

Re-Tasted: Apr 2016

A wonderfully deep nose of slightly treacly sherry with vanilla, plumy dried fruit, malt biscuits, barley, raisin and black pepper.

The palate is rich and unctuous with sherried dried fruit, malt, raisins and hints of chocolate, tobacco, leather and treacle. Lightly smoked with a touch of vanilla. Long and spicy with lingering treacle, malt and coffee. 

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 43%

Re-Tasted: Apr 2016

A wonderfully deep nose of slightly treacly sherry with vanilla, plumy dried fruit, malt biscuits, barley, raisin and black pepper.

The palate is rich and unctuous with sherried dried fruit, malt, raisins and hints of chocolate, tobacco, leather and treacle. Lightly smoked with a touch of vanilla. Long and spicy with lingering treacle, malt and coffee.

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12 year old 43%

Tasted: April 2012

A lovely, elegant nose of lightly leafy sherry with honeyed violets and musky white flowers, followed by chunky peat, malt and some mature sawdusty American oak. Wonderfully soft and supple aromas. The oak builds and hangs in there but the juiciness of the citrus balances. With time hints of bitter cherry and dark chocolate appear.

The palate opens with some sweet, malty sherry, then more malt, and yet more malt! Thick and treacly but the alcohol and gentle citrus stops it becoming flabby. It becomes oilier towards the middle as some light peat drifts in. The American oak does grip a bit on the finish, and one could argue that the palate is not quite as complex as the nose, but it’s still a lovely, mouth-filling dram with a lingering smoky finish.

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12 year old 43%

Re-Tasted June 2013

A monstrously luscious nose. Very honeyed and malty with earthy treacle, fragrant orange, mandarin and gentle crumbly peat. A touch of Oloroso adds depth and breadth to the nose, but some late creamy vanilla notes balance pleasantly.

The palate is soft, succulent and quite herbal to begin with. Moist treacly fruitcake melds with crumbly peat and malt. Extremely classy, full and polished with a brief violet interlude. A long, moist, lightly peppered and citrus finish. The oak is a lot more well behaved than the last time I tasted it and the palate shows more complexity. Seriously good stuff!

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 year old 43%

Tasted: Sept 2011

A big, full on nose of dried fruit, walnuts, orange oil, crushed fruit, malt and a touch of sweet peat. Seriously complex and monumental with hints of aged honey. In saying that it does have some lighter moments but it truly is a monstrous nose, especially when the oak gets going adding a bourbon-esque violet note.

The palate is soft and full with a superb depth of malty, dark, semi-dried fruit, mature honey and walnuts. Then all of a sudden it lightens up on the middle, mind the alcohol kicking in does help and it cleanses the palate leaving a slightly grainy note in the finish. I would guess that there is a proportion of Coffey Still malt in this vatting. Lovely length with some gorgeous spicy moments and a touch of toasty oak, which bitters out the finish. The after-taste is quite smoky, meaty and savoury. Stunning stuff!

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 Years Old 43%

Tasted: Mar 2012

A beautifully deep and fragrant nose of perfumed orange fruit with a castor sugar coating. Quite gentle with some mature, sawdusty oak, apricot, orange blossom honey. With time the oils really get a rollin’!

The palate is slightly milky and creamy to start, but the sheer weight of gently honey seeped apricot is breath taking. The sawdusty oak builds as do the oils to give a wonderful mouthful. Lovely depth with some late wood spices. A long, tingly, spicy finish.

Nika Taketsuru 17 year old 43%

Score: 8.2

Best Japanese Blended malt

Nose: Pungent and oily with lots of toasty, sweet oak. Some malty notes begin to appear and the oak takes on a sawdusty, mature demeanour. With time some spices amble through. (3.3)

Palate: Gentle and soft. A little homogenous but pleasantly deep with citrus, mature honey and gentle smoke and spices. It takes it’s time to unfold but none of the maturity that the nose shows seems to come through. (3.3)

Finish: Medium length with quite a hot but spicy finish. (1.5)

Conclusion: Pleasant enough but it’s not setting my pants on fire!

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 year old 43%

Tasted: April 2012

Gentle, restrained aromas of, sweet, mature, herbal (thyme, lavender), Oloroso sherry. Now the big American oak vanillins kick in and we could quite easily be inKentucky! Slightly earthy with hints of violets, spice and a touch of salinity at the edge. With time there is a late creamy coffee note along with a touch of slightly burnt coffee grains. Very complex.

Like the nose the palate opens with the gentle herbal Oloroso. Deep and malty with a good degree of maturity. Again just like the nose the mature American oak kicks in and builds as do the oils. Wonderfully rich and mouth-filling. Waves of liquorice, spicy malt and dried citrus hit the tongue. The oak bitters the finish a little and leaves some slightly grainy sherry wood tannins along with a touch of dark chocolate and cinnamon.


The Nikka 12 year old 43%

A blend of Yoichi and Miyagikyo

Tasted: May 2016Intense aromas of earthy sherry – prune, raisin, treacle and a touch of vanilla. The fruit is showing some rum-like dried fruit and baked apple maturity along with some mature, dusty sherry spices, coffee and dark chocolate. A light saltiness and barley note lightens.

The palate is soft and mature-ish with dusty oak and hints of barley, apple and cinnamon. Subtle sherry notes appear on the middle and add a little spicy, fruitcake note, malt and treacle. A little short and bitter, but it has a pleasant citric and salty after-taste. I’m not convinced that it is worth 90 odd quid though.