Whisky Review: Nikka Whisky From The Barrel

Style: Fruity and Grainy

Nose:
Begins with a youthful spirit overtone, toffee carrying an energetic grain-y buzz. Summer berries, grapefruit citrus, wafers, apple jacks with a touch of acidic raspberries. Peppermint and cloves spice zigzagging across and give some heatness to the spirit. Malt becoming fuzzy towards the back, dark chocolate finish. A light-hearted fruit-grain aroma backed with decent depth. Quite good.

Palate:
Delicious dark fruits burst into life on the palate. Prunes, plums, cherries lightly brushed with lip-smacking milk chocolate. Grain signatures piloting a menthol surge. Rolling out a thin vanilla carpet, tobacco leaves, while caramel notes dropping lower and binds with the oak towards the end.

Finish:
Soften dark fruits surfacing to the top, walnuts and figs biscuits, while the rest gradually dissipates.

Thoughts:
Ah, the famous Nikka From The Barrel, finally… It feels like this review is long overdue, a whisky adored by many drinkers because of its great price-quality ratio. In my honest opinion, the hype is justified – Bright fruitiness outlined by young grains while the sherry component enhanced its depth nicely, the expression is very well-balanced. While it is easy drinking, the higher strength gives an extra notch of intensity to spice things up a bit. Maybe slightly young/rough around the edges for me, but overall quite a nice dram. Close to 1 star.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distilleries]

[51.4% / Original Bottling / Cask Strength / No Age Statement / Circa 2015 Bottled / t+]

-Esmond

Whisky News & Review: Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

Asahi Premium Beverages has officially launched Nikka Whisky’s Coffey Range into the Australian Market, expanding its innovative range.

Nikka is also known for its Coffey still column distillation named after Irish inventor Aeneas Coffey, which is a traditional type of continuous still patented in the 1830’s, to ensure the whisky retains its unique and incredible flavours whilst also adding the distinct aroma that is a feature of all Nikka’s “Coffey” expressions.

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky with its uniqueness has earned it cult status across the world. It is made mainly from corn, distilled in a Coffey still and aged in American Oak casks.

Since the 1960’s, Nikka has been operating its two sets of Coffey stills. Taketsuru recognised that flavour was key and could produce a more distinctive whisky to that of modern stills.

Nikka International Business Development Representative, Naoki Tomoyoshi says, “We have a very rare still which produces an incredible liquid. We think Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky was a breakthrough product for the grain whisky category when it was first introduced in 2012.”

Featuring aromas of vanilla, coconut and tropical fruits, Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky offers a rich, soft, sweet flavour and delicate finish, earning it a Gold Award at the 2013 International Spirits Challenge. Owing to the delicate flavours, Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is the perfect option for both whisky connoisseurs and novices alike.

Asahi Premium Beverages spokesperson Michael Edmonds says, “We’re so excited to officially be launching the Nikka Coffey range into the Australian market and especially the Coffey Grain Whisky. The whisky has received a lot of love from bartenders globally and we’re excited to see what bartenders in Australia create with it.” ”Today, Nikka Coffey Grain has become one of the most interesting products to work with behind the bar, allowing to create a much elegant and mellow version of a standard cocktail,” added Tomoyoshi.

Nikka’s Coffey Grain Whisky (700ml, 45% ABV) is RRP $129.99 and is available at select premium venues and stores.

It has been a while since I tasted it, here’s my review on the bottle…

Tasting Notes:

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

Style: Sweet and Herbal

Nose:

An icy peppermint overture leading to a round honey cornflakes and grainy aroma. The sweetness flourishes nicely after it breathes a while. More spearmint volatile flashing on the spirit side. Blow it off and we have warm bread crust dipping into sweet vanilla-peanut sauce at the back end.

Palate:

Round, grain sweetness on the palate, incredible smooth and easy, corn syrup fusing with vanilla caramel sauce. Chocolate cornflakes pushed up by a grassy, herbal core. Orange liqueur, some agar agar, honey toast highlighted by a couple of husky brushes. A sponge cake finish.

Finish:

Peppermint reducing to dust, Valencia oranges and grain sweetness fading and whispering softly.

Thoughts:

Such a sweet and approachable whisky we have here. The vanilla honey, fresh herbs and chocolate-fruits aligned in a simple but meaningful way which makes it lip-smacking delicious. It has been years since I revisited this expression, and I still quite like it. Some connoisseurs might find it a bit syrupy, but I totally dig it. Great introductory whisky. Close to 1 star.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

[45%・Original Bottling (Will there be an IB for this?)・No Age Statement・Japanese Single Grain Whisky・General Release • t]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Taketsuru 21 Years Old Port Wood Finish

Style: Sweet and Silky

Palate:

Light first touch, feathery texture, citrus lemon and quickly pursued by soft raisin sweetness. A peck of smoke and sourness, then we have tropical fruits and bright coconuts notes. Milk chocolate pudding in the mid-palate as the oak influence begins to play a part. Lovely malt breaks through towards the end to give a lovely back taste.

Finish:

Raisin and malt dally on the finish, warm, fuzzy and comfy. Softened smoke comes in with a long and complex chocolate mix. Signatory silkiness makes it so enjoyable!

Thoughts:

The Port wood finish has instilled extra red fruit sweetness, roundness and probably a hint of sourness to the pure malt. It also created a new dimension of it. Silky as ever, the texture remains one of the best I have ever encountered. Exceptional complexity and finesse.

☆ [Recommended]

[46%・2014・Non Chill Filtered ・ Non Coloured ・ Limited Edition ・ Blended Malt]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Nikka “Kitagenshu” 15 Years Old

[43%・15 Years Old・Original Bottling]

Nose:

Very clean and vibrant, rockmelon, watermelon and stone fruits fused together with just a slight edge of earthiness; elegantly rounded.

Palate & Finish:

Clever and charming, the dram first introduces sweet nashi pears to the picture, not in an overly extravagant manner but in a rather refreshing way.  A hazy lace of smoke then sips out to draw back the brightness of the fruits momentarily as another wave of fruitiness comes about, this time of lime jelly and white peaches.

The traces of fruits grow softer and softer but they extend long enough to just complete the picture, elegance exemplified.

Thoughts:

Words can’t describe how this dram delights me, brilliance was somehow capable of being bottled.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas