Miyagikyo and Me

Ah Miyagikyo, a name familiar with many Japanese whisky enthusiasts but a mystery for many of us at the same time. Why, because we(outside of Japan), don’t seem to try/buy a lot of it. I have been a member of a couple of the largest English language whisky forums for a number of years and I hardly remember seeing on the ‘What Are You Drinking/Buying’ threads anyone buying/trying Miyagikyo. Ok, they are sold outside of Japan so someone is buying them but they are hardly mentioned compared to Yoichi, Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hanyu and Karuizawa. That said, there may be a large following in Japan but I have no idea of sales volumes.
So where does Miyagikyo fit into my scheme of things. Firstly there is the standard range, no age statement, 10, 12 and 15YO. Apart from the NAS, a feisty youngster, I find the others too delicate for my tastes. This is not to say they are not refined spirits. More that the ultra delicate style is not to my taste. Certainly they conform to the early mantra of Shinjiro Torii the founder of Suntory, that whisky should be compatible with Japanese food(more on that late when I post on Yamazaki). I cannot say this is deliberate on behalf of the folks at Miyagikyo but, I can see Miyagikyo being sipped as an accompaniment to sushi, teppanyaki or yakatori and performing that task very well. I however, like many other whisky enthusiasts in the west, drink whisky as a stand alone experience.
So for myself, Miyagikyo works best when it is bottled as cask strength. The combination of the subtlety of the Miyagikyo style ramped up to the nth degree can create some fascinating contrasts. In the end, nothing is set in stone and I am looking forward to trying more bottling’s of Miyagikyo in the future so my experiences follow suit.

4 thoughts on “Miyagikyo and Me

  1. Hi Brian! The situation is more or less the same in Europe. I mentioned before that people here hardly ever mention Yoichi but at least that one is being talked about from time to time. Nobody ever mentions Miyagikyo. I suppose the somewhat complicated name doesn’t help… Personally I am a big, big fan of the NAS and I have enjoyed the 10yo, especially on hot days. The other expressions I don’t know but will make sure to try them along the way.

    • Hi Pierre. I will be endeavoring to revisit the standard range of Miyagikyo this year. Never gave to much thought to the name but your right, it doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue.

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