Distiller: Nikka. ABV: 51.4%. No age statement. Price: $50-60 (500ml).
Took me a while to get a taste of this, but it was worth the wait.
Nikka from the Barrel comes in a 500ml bottle that’s charming but unfortunately banned in the US–where only 750ml, 375ml, 200ml, and minis can be sold here. It’s a blend of Japanese single malts and grain whisky (ages and proportions undisclosed) that are married for 6 months in oak casks, then bottled at cask strength–51.4% in this case.
The nose starts out hot but not unpleasantly so. There’s caramel, coffee, some sweet grainery notes a la Teeling Single Grain, but with some dense malt too. Palate: caramel apple, vanilla, Christmas spice, dark oak. A bit like a Japanese Aberlour A’Bunadh.
With time, a floral note seeps in–jasmine?–more dense than delicate, then black tea and bitter orange marmalade take over. There’s a weight and density on the finish that I love. A few drops of water do good things all around.
Can we get this in a US-friendly 750ml, NIkka? Please?
Kanpai, friends! -BO