About two and a half months ago, Nikka announced that their single malt range will radically change (the so-called ‘Nikka Shock’) which means no more age statements and the introduction of two new NAS expressions with a slightly different profile compared to the old ones.
So today, I want to say goodbye to the old Nikka singe malt range by reviewing a total of six expression:
- Yoichi NAS
- Yoichi 10 Years Old
- Yoichi 15 Years Old
- Miyagikyo NAS
- Miyagikyo 10 Years Old
- Miyagikyo 12 Years Old
Yoichi was founded in 1934 on the island of Hokkaido (the northernmost of the four Japanese main islands). The distillery (also called ‘The Icon’) is located less than a mile from sea and gets its water from an underground source that runs through peat. Thus it is not surprising that the house style is subscribed as “peaty and salty”. Interestingly enough, Yoichi’s small pot stills are still fired by coal, a traditional method that is no longer used by Scottish distilleries.
The Yoichi NAS is meant to offer “drinkers a light-hearted introduction to the superior quality of Yoichi malt whisky” with its “impressive balance and full personality”.
Relatively fruity with a lot of peach, accompanied by green apples and green pears. Nut mix with red berries. Hints of salt, peat and dusty oak.
Lots of sugared lemon followed by plums, peaches and cherries. Furthermore walnuts and almonds. Also slightly peppery. A whiff of coffee. Mildly-peated seaweed in the background.
Pretty long and dry with a slightly bitter touch. Hints of old oak and salt.
Not bad, not bad at all! In all seriousness, this is indeed a balanced and more complex than expected entry level expression and thus a fine starting point into the Yoichi range. Reminds me with its salty and peaty touch of some coastal Scottish single malt.
Score: 83 / 100