The worldwide whisky boom has certainly affected multiple countries, Japan not withstanding. Earlier this year, Nikka decided to stop bottling the revered Yoichi single malt in order to meet demands for their blends – of which this is one. It is made by the Yoichi distillery, which lies in southern hokkaido and was founded by Masataka Taketsuru – the legendary pioneer of Japanese whisky who studied in Scotland and even had a Scottish wife.
Nose: For a 50% alcohol whisky, the nose is surprisingly quiet. Primarily, wet, mossy earth and some fino sherry notes amidst vanilla, pencil shavings, caramel, saffron, and milk chocolate. 25/30 (83%)
Taste: Thick, with very light peat, dried apricot, pears, and a decent, but clean, malt backing and some oak in the mix. Clove, cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, and caramel in the mix too. 25.5/30 (85%)
Finish: A bit of lingering peat, light caramel, and malt notes. 16.5/20 (82%)
Conclusion: Very pleasant, and well structured around the malt – if not a bit plain. This one is pretty easy to drink – I wouldn’t have guessed it sits at 51.4%. This was a pretty small sample, only about 1/2 oz, and over one tasting – hence the brevity of the notes. I do in fact have a bottle of this, so likely will review in more depth in the future. 16.5/20 (83%)