Nikka / Yoichi


Nikka distilleries

Region: Japan

Location: Nikka have two distilleries in Japan; Yoichi in Hokkaido and Mayagikyo in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Northern Honshu. Nikka also owns Ben Nevis distillery in Scotland.

Status: Operational




Nikka White

"Pure Malt" which I guess means vatted or now Blended malt".

Original cost of this bottle; Unknown (to me)


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich gold with hints of brass

Nose: Aromatic floral malt and popcorn, then butterscotch and candy floss followed by freshly polished wood, perhaps even cherry wood.

Palate: Creamy mouth-feel with fresh raspberries and a vanilla sauce. Hints of butterscotch, biscuit, mango and peach.

Finish: Long and fruity

Overall Impression: I really like the mixture of malt, butterscotch and fruit.



Nikka Black

"Pure Malt" which I guess means vatted or now Blended malt".

Original cost of this bottle; Unknown (to me)


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light amber

Nose: Initially lots of aged oak followed by leather and wax polish.

Palate: Primarily wood and nuts with a hint of lavendar. This also has a gentle tingle on the palate and something reminiscent of coconut milk.

Finish: Long with that slightly nutty coconut milk.

Overall Impression: Long and lingering, slightly nutty and a suggestion of coconut, but not much more.



Photo coming soon


The Blend of Nikka 17

Original cost of this bottle; Unknown (to me)


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Amber

Nose: Aromatic and perfumed wood, also old wax wood polish alongside lots of rather sweet flora.

Palate: Smooth and creamy mouth-feel and really quite floral. Initially I thought "sweet vanilla sauce" but on second thoughts this has quite a lot of "jam roly-poly and custard". On my second tasting it is even more intense with more of the wood and wood polish from the nose. This is then followed by much more fruit with peach and banana.

Finish: Long with wood and fruit.

Overall Impression: A very enjoyable whisky,  but although it's good, the palate just doesn't quite live up to some of the promises of the nose. If it did, it would be a 'great'.









Yoichi, OB for LMDW, 1988.6.14 - 2013.7.8, 62%abv

New Butt cask No.100215, bottle No.25

Original cost of this bottle;

Sample thanks to MMA 2013


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Amber

Nose: Lots of woodiness, musty leather-iness and really quite herbal in character. After some minutes in the glass it reminds me glowing bonfire embers. On a second tasting the next day the nose was primarily of the glowing bonfire embers.

Palate: Very creamy mouth-feel whose texture (not flavour) was akin to a creamy custard. It seems quite meaty and herbal .. roast beef with a herb crust? I retried this the next day and my overriding impression was not of roast beef but Black Forest ham.

Finish: Very long, hints of liquorice root right at the end, maybe also just the slightest suggestion of coconut too?

Overall Impression: Some unusual attributes but quite delightful.




Yoichi, 1989.2.12 - 2012.7.3, 60%abv

Recharged Hogshead, cask No.202393 for LMDW

Original cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2012


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Amber

Nose: Oh wow, excuse me for a minute whilst I experience another of my youthful flashbacks ...... no, it's not rude although it does involve a sauna .... Harrogate some 32-35 years ago when I and a group of friends visited the old Roman Baths on Sunday mornings. They had been converted to a sauna and steam rooms and gave a welcome weekend respite. So, why the flashback? Well, my first thought on nosing this Yoichi was "sauna" as it offers a warmth alongside lightly scorched woodiness and a slightly antiseptic 'something', again reminding me of oils like euchalyptus which are also typically used in a sauna. This is good, very good.

Gently warming with what seems like a light earthiness or even peatiness before it suddenly intensifies with a veritable explosion to offer big fruity earthiness / peatiness.

Finish: Very long, fruity and earthy.

Overall Impression:
This Yoichi 1989 for LMDW is stunning and bordering on my personal scale of greatness (90+ pts), but just not quite. The nose hardly betrayed the marvellous earthy peatiness that the palate would offer. It's a whisky of great depth and I loved the flashback to those halcyon days in Harrogate which was a true bonus.









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