Nose: Banana mouse, brandy, blueberries, toffee, steamed corn cob, apricots, maple syrup, hint of orange, bay leaves. Palate: Paprika, oregano, chili powder, chocolate coated coffee beans, mashed banana’s, blueberries, toffee, old leather, dried tobacco leaves. Finish: Oregano, pepper, dried tobacco leaves, fried banana, pineapple, bay leaves. Last Word: The mainly sweet nose belies the herbaceous palate and finish that follows. A very smooth and approachable blended whisky, there should still be enough flavor and complexity to satisfy many. A little bit of Yoichi peated whisky in the mix to add a smoky element would not have gone astray.
Nose: Blueberries, malt, brandy snaps, a candy note, nicely controlled oak, pepper and a hint of sherry. Water adds nougat. Palate: Currants, brandy snaps, salt and pepper, mixed nuts, menthol, blueberry bubblegum, some ash and smoke. Water adds some toffee and assists with the balance and smoothness. Finish: Works best with water and has impressive length. I’m talking 10 minutes and counting as I write up these notes. Pepper, menthol, blueberry, ash, smoke, tobacco, brandy snaps and some mouth coating oiliness. Lat Word: Very heavily malt based and I would say on the Yoichi side. The nose is subtle and clean, the palate smooth and balanced with water and the finish impressively long and satisfying.
Nose: Tequilaesque pepper, butterscotch, ginger snaps, orange peel, marshmallows, oak, furniture polish. Palate: Butterscotch, caramel, pepper, nutmeg, ginger snaps, salt oak, cocoa, nougat. A few drops of water brings out malt, juicy apples and pears and reduces the spices a little. Finish: Oak, nutmeg, cocoa powder, ginger snaps, spearmint. With water green apple and malt. Last Word: I prefer this with a few drops of water which engenders this whisky with a fresher, more lively character. Being fond of the older Blend of Nikka both the NAS 45% and the 17YO, I was hoping for some Yoichi smoke. None so far but it may develop as the level of liquid in the bottle diminishes. Classy bottle/presentation for a whisky that costs about $45-50 in Japan.