Archive for the ‘Yoichi’ Category

Nikka Yoichi No Age Statement 43%

Tasted: Sept 2015

The nose opens with floral, marzipan coated, lightly stewed apple, peach, tangerine, sweet plum and barley. Hints of salt, damp forest floors and subtle sherried dried fruit. With time some edgy tannins appear to balance the heaviness of the oak.

The palate again opens with the lightly toffee’d almondy oak with the barley, peat, salt and subtle sherry notes beneath. Long and quite crisp as the salt really kicks in. Lovely finish with lingering light, sweet, heathery peat and sweet cinnamon. Very salt encrusted after-taste.

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt 45%

2016 Release

Tasted: May 2016Youthful aromas of slightly oily malt biscuits, white fruit, apple, marzipan and a light coastal influence. Distinctly younger than the previous release with a touch of dense, off-sweet barley, almond and sweet-ish vanilla. Lovely, bracing saltiness balances the sweetness.

The palate is light-ish and young with sweet barley and a touch of burnt toast. Quite woody on the middle with hickory and bitter chocolaty tannins. Intense, salty finish with barley, cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of herbal sherry. Lovely, lightly, sweetly peated finish with lingering salt and white fruit.

Nikka Yoichi 10 year old 45%

Batch 18HO2D/ Tasted: Nov 2009

A beautiful nose of sugarcoated honeydew melon backed by a lovely coastal intensity. It has a touch of Caol Ila freshness along with hints of fish, maple syrup sweet barley, herbal-peat and a demerara maltiness. The honey has a lovely maturity and gives an overall impression of politiness!

The palate open with light fish oils and sugared melon, the coastal apricot intensifies, leading into a briney middle with hints of sugared almonds and bitter chocolate from the wood. It is a lovely journey through the flavours, finishing with fishy notes and a touch of bitterness from the oak to balance the sweetness.

Nikka Yoichi 12 year old 45%

Bottling Code 14J02B/ Tasted: Mar2011

Clean, coastal sherried fruit aromas mingle with sweet dark malt and plenty of earthy peat. This has a lovely depth with layers of grape, salt, mature citrus fruit and peat. Later some hints of molasses and toasted wood emerge.

A beautifully soft and elegant palate with mature coastal laced sherried fruit by the bucket load. The spices (cinnamon and cumin) and dark malt really kick in, followed by a superb complexity of peat flavours – dry and earthy one minutes, then highlighted by some tcp/ medicinal moments. It really lets out it’s phenolics towards the finish where the oak bites and adds some bitter chocolate/ toffee. Lovely length with some charred embers and soot to finish off with. This is one of those drams whish flows superbly from beginning to end!

Nikka Yoichi 15 year old 45%

Tasted: ?

A lovely mature nose of rich honey, beeswax, delicate peat and mature sherry. Wow this is amazingly complex, thearomas continue with malt, dried raisins/ sultanas, lashings of gingery spice and liquid orange fruit.

The Palate opens with malty, mature honey, then comes the wood spice, barley and a slight winey note. This is truly amazing; the flavours merge and develop on the tongue, now there’s dried Armagnac-esque dried fruits, a waft of gentle peat, barley, vanilla and spice. Succulent and complex with quiet a salty flourish in the finish. This is amazing – I’m almost lost for words!

Nikka Yoichi 20 year old 52%

Batch 16G14C

Quite a huge, high toned alcoholic nose of Oloroso sherry and ‘quelle horreur’ a stinky struck match heads sulphur note!!! What is this doing here?? And on the 2009 World Whisky of the Year??? Scandalous! Yes, there is a serious depth of cinnamon coated orange fruit, dark malt, demarara sugar, dried figs, and walnuts, but there’s no escaping the ruinous sulphur! I have to say that the nose on the 15 year old is considerably better.

The palate opens with the sulphur note. Ignoring that there is a lovely depth of burnt toffee, walnuts, dates, prunes and cinnamon spices. The sherry sits in the background and is not as invasive as it is on the nose. The alcohol is piquant and in passing leaves hints of rich, plumy fruit followed by some marzipan and burnt butter. There is no ignoring the enormity and complexity, but still the sulphur lingers and grates at the senses – This could have been a stunning dram and worth of the World Whisky of the yeartag. The finish is superb, meandering its way to a charred wood, dark chocolate-tannin finish.

With water the sherryaroma/ flavour is pushed back a bit and if anything emphasises the sulphur! Lighter and juicier now with more ‘spirit character’ than wood. A touch of salt/ chlorine freshness now appears as does a sugar coating to the fruit, and the cask dutiful adds a nutty nuance.

I can’t believe that this was just a rogue batch as Jim Murray mentions this sulphur note in two separate batches that he’s tasted. It would appear that he and the judges of the World Whisky panel are a lot more forgiving than I am – Sulphur is a fault, full stop and it really ruins my appreciation of an otherwise exceptional dram.

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