Tag Archives: Nikka

Nikka Taketsuru ‘Pure Malt’

Bought: Whisky Exchange, 28th September 2016

Ratings:
82.34/100 – Whiskybase (average from 120 member votes)
89/100 – Scotch Test Dummies (their video review below)

The details of this Japanese blend on The Whisky Exchange (TWE) reads, “Taketsuru’s no-age-statement blended malt contains a high percentage of malt from Miyagikyo, with the remainder coming from Yoichi. Aged on average for around 10 years in a variety of different cask types, including some sherry wood for extra richness.”

TWE are selling a full 70cl for £47.95, which is quite expensive but it seems this whisky is better than your average blend no matter what its country of origin. Scoring 82.34/100 on Whiskybase is a very good mark. Comments include “Elegance and finness. Excellent sipping whisky.” And “A lovely smooth and delicate malt, I highly recommend this one, nothing flash about it but hits the spot every time.”

Here are Scotch Test Dummies with their review on You Tube (July 2016):

nikka-taketsuru-pure-malt-nas-5cl

Super Nikka

Bought: Whiskysite, Holland, 26th October 2015

Ratings:
93/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
79/100 – Whiskybase (from 18 member votes)

The ‘Super Nikka’ blend popped onto my radar when I noticed its excellent score in the Whisky Bible. It became more interesting when I couldn’t find it anywhere in the UK and various places said it had been discontinued. When I visited my local Whisky Shop they said they are constantly being asked for Japanese whisky and the popularity is exceeding their supply. Not only single malts but blends are vanishing off the shelves. You have to think this craze is a passing phase but will there be any Super Nikka left when it ends?

Thankfully several online shops in Holland and across Europe have bottles of the Super Nikka and at a very reasonable price too. Although 79/100 on Whiskybase is nothing more than a ‘good’ whisky by their standards it’s Jim Murray’s 93/100 in his Whisky Bible that makes the ‘Super’ stand out. 93/100 classifies this Japanese blend as “brilliant” and Mr Murray remarks “a very, very fine blend which makes no apology whatsoever for the peaty complexity of Yoichi malt. Now, with less caramel, it’s pretty classy stuff. However, Nikka being Nikka you might find the occasional bottling that is entirely devoid of peat, more honeyed and lighter in style (89/100 – no less a quality turn, obviously). Either way, an absolutely brilliant day-to-day, anytime, any place dram. One of the true 24-carat, super nova commonplace blends not just in Japan, but in the world.” Who wouldn’t want a bottle of Super Nikka after a review like that?!

Unfortunately I bought this Super Nikka with my collector’s hat on before an online auction in December 2015 where a bottle sold for a measly £18.50. The month before in the same auction site a bottle went for £52.50, such is the up and down nature of the desire for Japanese whisky. Heck, I might just have to drink it instead of treating it as an investment! I’m curious to see if I have a peated or unpeated version.

Here’s Whisky.com with their You Tube review (August 2016):

Super Nikka 70cl

Nikka White Label

Bought: Amazon, 30th December 2014

Ratings:
90-92/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
81.23/100 – Whiskybase (average from 148 member votes)

Amazon got me again with another great discount in a “Daily Deal”. This Japanese vatted malt comes in 3 different colours: white, red and black. Both the red and the black are based purely on Japanese whiskies but the white includes an element of Islay. What exactly this means is a bit of a mystery, along with the Islay distillery adding the influence. But ‘guesswork’ is part of the fun in the world of whisky, or do I mean ‘frustration’? Curiously Phil of Whisky Wednesday says in his video below that the peat in the White Label comes from the Japanese brands of Yoichi and Miyagikyo, which isn’t what my initial research revealed. Perhaps my initial source was simply hinting at the peat connection with Islay but the White Label is 100% Japanese whisky.

There are 3 different versions of the white label in the Whisky Bible 2015 scoring 90/100, 91/100 and 92/100. Each has a different batch number that sadly doesn’t match anything printed on mine. Jim Murray, the bible author, includes remarks in his reviews of “big peaty number”, “real class” and “peculiarly Japanese feel to this delicately peated delight”. So, depending on the blend, I could either have a “big peaty number” or a “delicately peated delight” or something in between. Whichever it is, anything scoring between 90-93.5/100 is considered “brilliant” in the bible.

Scoring over 81/100 on Whiskybase is very good with comments of “I found this a very friendly whiskey, fit for most occasions” and “not bad, the peat profile was very present but subtle”.

Here’s Whisky Wednesday with their thoughts about the Nikka White Label, which they score 8/10 (YouTube May 2017):

Nikka White Label 50cl