Monday 7 April 2014

Shirt Bar "Scotch" Club: Nikka Whisky (February 2014) - Tasted #76 - #79

It was just under a year ago that we attended Shirt Bar's first Japanese whisky tasting, and recently the Shirt Bar crew ran another, this time focusing on the Nikka Whisky portfolio, showcasing the:
  • Miyagikyo 12 yo
  • Yoichi 15yo
  • Taketsuru 12yo; and
  • Nikka from the Barrel (a favourite from previous tastings)
Proving as popular as the 2013 session, the tasting was run twice over two weeks, giving more of us a chance to try a great range of Nikka whiskies (and, importantly, a completely different line up to the previous tasting).

The tasting was a little more rushed than we're used to, and (after a late start) was over all too quickly unfortunately. It seemed we were barely finished nosing one whisky when the next was up for tasting, and before we knew it the food (fittingly, again some tasty sushi) was served.

Having attended probably 13+ Scotch Clubs though (and blogged about 7 of them to date) I'm pretty confident in saying this wasn't the norm, and the session we attended more recently (Woodford Reserve) was back to the usual quality we've come to expect from Scotch Club.

Not to say this was a bad session - not at all, just not the usual in-depth look at whisk(e)y we've come to expect. But no matter! We still got to taste 4 Japanese whiskies, 1 of which I hadn't tried, and 3 of which Steph hadn't.

Nikka Miyagikyo 12 Year Old (45% ABV, 12yo, Sendai Japan, $130)
Distilled with steam-heated stills
Nose: Vanilla, Bourbon-like, but also floral.
Palate: Oats, spice, vanilla and caramel.
Finish: Short, slightly salty, with final floral notes and pear.
Overall: 90/100

Nikka Yoichi 15 Year Old (45% ABV, 15yo, Hokkaido Japan, $220)
Nose: Bigger darker, more spice and more saltiness than the previous dram.
Palate: Big rich oily mouthfeel - big notes of chocolate eclairs.
Finish: Short, spicy, not a huge amount going on, but pleasant enough.
Overall: 90/100.

Nikka Taketsuru 12 Year Old (40% ABV, 12yo, Pure Malt, Japan, $100)
Nose: Apples, apples and more apples. I got absolutely nothing but apples on this one
Palate: Light and floral, reminded me of a Springbank. More apples.
Finish: Over so quickly I could barely take notes. Way too short.
Overall: 89/100. Not dissimilar notes to the last time I tried it.

Nikka from the Barrel (51.4% ABV, NAS, Blend, Japan, $70)
Nose: Vanilla protein powder, coffee creamer.
Palate: Spicy cinnamon, grains, big and mouth filling.
Finish: Long, spicy, not as smooth as I remember, but lots going on. Sweet, spice, with some citrus and fruity notes
Overall: 90/100 - still probably my favourite of the night, but not as good as I'd remembered it.

 - Martin.

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