Sunday, 12 October 2014

Nikka from the barrel

A Tasty Dram whisky blog tasting notes


Masataka Taketsuru, godfather of Japanese whisky, stood at the cradle of 2 behemoths in his country: Yamazaki and Nikka Whisky. Both companies attained an international status that easily rivals the golden nectar from the mother country.

Nikka from the Barrel is a no age statement blend composed of Yoichi single malts and Miyagikyo grain whiskies. After the blending process the whisky is recasked to marry the aroma's and flavours and form a harmonious entirety.

Identity Card Nikka from the barrel

  • Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.
  • NAS blended whisky
  • Alcohol 51.4 % ABV
  • 50cl
Nikka from the barrel
Picture The Whisky Exchange

Tasting notes

Colour: Nikka from the Barrel has a deep amber colour.

Nose: The nose is rather soft given its high ABV (more than 50% ABV!). I'm getting a lot of fruitiness and wood flavours right from the start. Also some ripe grapes and sandalwood. And yet there's more: orange blossom water and coconut milk, some Brazilian style flan cake with caramelized and roasted almond pieces and fragrant tea.
With water there's an evolution towards pencil shavings and whiffs of Madeira wine or Pedro Ximenez sherry.

Taste: The start is clean, a little sour and robust. Fresh apples, orange juice and dried nuts.
Water enhances again the sweeter notes. Ripe grapes and vanilla-infused almond milk.

Finish: The finish is long and leaves you with a bittersweet feeling and notes of sandalwood and almonds.


Nikka from the Barrel is another proof of what Japan's forte. Enhancing a very good product to near perfection. Nikka delivers an excellent price-quality whisky with this blend. I'm putting my money on the honeymoon in oak casks.

A 50cl bottles costs somewhere between €35 and €38. A still affordable Japanese whisky. And some serious competition for the budget drams of respected names like Glenfarclas and Aberlour.


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