Price Point: $55 – $65 for 750 ML
Distiller: The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd., Japan
I really enjoy trying whiskeys from around the world. I find it fascinating how other cultures interpret the category, and how they put their own spin (and terroir) on what they produce.
Japan is quickly becoming a major exporter of whisky to the United States. Early on writing this blog, I reviewed Yamazaki 12 Year Old, which was the first Japanese whisky I had seen stateside. Much later, I reviewed Nikka Coffey Grain, a departure from the single malt genre.
I had the pleasure of trying Nikka Pure Malt about a year and a half ago in Los Angeles. At that time, it still had the 12 Years Old age statement on it. Just like many whiskies from the West, Nikka Pure Malt has dropped the age statement. Let’s see if it retained its flavor and quality.
The nose on Nikka Pure Malt reveals close ties to the single malt Scotch genre, but with a discernible Eastern influence. There are notes of exotic spices, similar to that in the Amrut portfolio. There’s also rich malted barley, and pineapple revealing itself upon a strong inhale. There’s subtle mint toward the end, and no smoke or peat.
The taste begins with well matured oak and malted barley, with some sea salt sprinkled in. Nikka Pure Malt can be similar to Glenlivet 12 Year Old in consistency and some flavor notes, specifically the marrying of pineapple fruitiness and refined malt. This is a very well balanced and tasty whisky.
The finish is malty and pleasant; no complaints here.
Rating & Recommendations
Nikka Pure Malt earns a rating of 88 out of 100.
Don’t let the screw cap fool you – this is a lovely whisky from Japan that I would absolutely purchase again.