Thursday, December 19, 2019

Nikka Whisky From the Barrel

VITALS:
- $60
- 102.8 Proof
- NAS
- Japan

I don't get around to Japanese whiskys all that often, and the number that I've reviewed here is practically zero. I do love Japanese whisky, though, and that is something that needs correcting. It seems that I've really enjoyed nearly every one that I've tried, and the Nikka 21 year was basically an orgasmic whisky experience.

This particular bottle caught my eye for two reasons--the short, squat bottle and the name. Now, I don't believe that it is unfiltered or undiluted, as the name might imply. I don't really know what the name is intended to suggest. It's perhaps a bit misleading, but it got me to buy it, and luckily the whisky inside was very good to cause me to not really care.

The nose gives off a light smokey note. It's certainly not peated, but a light amount of smoke is certainly there. I also got a good amount of tobacco leaf, as well as a certain, slightly sweet peach tea note.This was all seemingly surrounded by certain floral notes, and while I'm no expert on flowers, it oddly reminded me of high school dances. So, if I were to try to pin it down, I'd say it smelled like carnations and desperation.

The flavor was very similar to good Speyside single malts. Up front I got a nice balance of sweet butterscotch notes with a light peppery spice. That light smoke from the nose was also present up front, but again, did not come across as peated in any respect.

I also got a mix of light fruit and sweet vanilla notes. The fruit was bright and sweet like apricot, and the vanilla reminded me of vanilla icing. These notes, mixed with the bready or pastry-like flavors of gave this a sort of apricot danish flavor that made me wish I had tried this for breakfast.

The back end had a light, spicy finish. The black pepper notes were present throughout. But, towards the end, a nice cinnamon note came through as well that seemed to complement everything else going on in this whisky, from the butterscotch to the apricot to the pepper spice. It was a spicy finish that seemed to tie a bow on everything else.

I kind of picked this up knowing nothing about it, but the whisky certainly lived up to all the positive reviews I've seen since. I really took my time with this whisky, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single sip.

Grade: A

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