Floral nose, with a touch of orange peel and apricots. Boiled sweets and a little spice. Big and well-balanced at first, some spicy oak and ripe fruit coming through and then a tickle of fire and oak at the finish. Add water for a real treat.
Tasting Notes by Dr Whisky
Tasted with Tante Anne. Her notes appear in quotes.
Bubble gum, dry sherry, and a zip of orange zest. Solo [Norwegian soft drink - ed.]. Evaporated milk, sweet caramel chews. "Smells Japanese. Like old wooden Japanese homes" (She has spent a lot of time in Japan).
Minty sherry oak and plastic bags. Walnuts, raspberry seeds, delicious bittersweet notes like slices of Gala apples. Very dry finish with some pine and a cocoa smokiness.
Nose opened up with time and patience and made varied impressions. Water dulled the impact on the palate but helped discriminate between flavours. A very impressive package in a very impressive package. And another rich but affordable Japanese whisky. There is something Aberlour and Teaninich about it.
Tried it as a MIZUWARI [Lots of water and ice - ed.] and it was gentle, but with a surprisingly complex array of flavours from brioche to cherries to chocolatey smoke.
Customer Reviews:(27 reviews)
A great fathers day present. One that any dad would appreciate having a sip of.
- anonymous, 24th June
Delicious; plummy, fruity and rich with a soft mouth feel, easy to forget it is 51.4%.
- Andrew C, 23rd June
My absolute favourite as a go-to tipple. For me, it eclipses Scots single malts in the same, and perhaps even higher, price brackets.
- Ben 'Nihon-jin desu ka?' The Tippler, 22nd June
Finally got my hand on it.Its big sweet and perfectly engineered.nose (after 5min of pouring): big caramel and maple syrup,cooked banana,sweet blood Orange with zest,very fresh oak scent with a lingering hint of resin.Taste:the oak plays well here,it hits like a bourbon with the toffee covered vanilla body,than tapers off into a scotch finish with sweet maltyness,its young but its very well behaved and presents itself orderly.Buy!
- whiskyman, 20th May '13
Great whisky,nice flavors and easy drinking even at the cask strength
without adding any water. Definitely to keep one in the cupboard for special occasion.One of the favorites....
- Szarik, 3rd May '13
2 and a bit years later I thought, this would merit a 2nd review. On my 4th bottle - and the blend (or me) has changed slightly. Better to drink straight from a tiny glass, no water. Pungent nose that doesn't resemble any Scotch I know - this is unique, more like a GOOD bourbon? fabulous cabinetmakers shop nose, rich and rounded tast and a long finish. Quite unique - Not a competitor to scotsh in any way. Superb stuff.
- tim - still nice and dim, 18th Jan '13
Wow this is such a surprise. Never would have considered anything outside of a traditional malt . Absolutely worth a try for anyone who has the slightest interest in the water of life!!!
- Steve B, 5th Jan '13
Bought a bottle of this little gem last week... I really enjoyed Hibiki 12yo and 17yo recently but thought they lacked sufficient ABV.... Nikka from the Barrel is superb at 51.4% ABV...clean, fruity, complex, hints of tobacco and parchment, jasmine and nutmeg aromas... a must for any Whisky lover, novice or connoisseur..
- Matt, London, 8th May '12
Wow, bought this on a whim and I'm so glad I did. Nose is reminiscent of a nice rye whiskey, sweet honey and rich oak on the palate. It's pretty smooth although still delivers that satisfying kick. Can only agree with others- you won't be disappointed.
- EC, 12th Apr '12
Fairplay to the Japanese, this is a little cracker.
I get something different every dram.
Started drinking it with a drop of water as it's strong stuff. You will not be disappointed.
- Jamie H, 9th Mar '12
This whisky is one of my all-time favourites. I drink it with a quarter measure of water which helps bring out the full variety of flavours. It is one of the smoothest and most enjoyable whiskies you could hope to drink. As has been said before, it is very good value even though it goes in a 50cl bottle.
- M Ozdamar, 15th Feb '12
This was the first Japanese whisky I have tried and I was not dissapointed. Big sour notes are what stood out for me, and the ridiculous smoothness, even at 51%. Even my non whisky drinking friends enjoyed it.
Tried it with water but to be honest I prefer it neat.
- Equity, 12th Feb '12
Got this as a present a while ago, and have been looking for it again ever since. Just saw the price now, I always thought it was worth at least double that, if not more. Great stuff, and I am certainly inclined to try more Japanese whisky.
- KK, 15th Jan '12
Initially put off because of loyalty to Scottish drams and single malts. However this one is special! Needs a thimble full of mineral water to loosen it up. It's taste is by no means loose - its fruity and super smooth. A superb little tipple!
- Maish from London, 14th Jan '12
Love it, love it, love it. Bought on the overwhelmingly positive reviews. They are acurate. Added a drop of water and was richly rewarded. Initially put off by the 50cl bottle, but so glad I made the purchase. My new favourite.
- Hawks82, 10th Oct '11
It's really beautiful whisky .. but only what i want to know is how many years is matured ? or this information is unknown ? can somebody help me with it ?
- Adni, 9th Apr '11
I thought blended whiskies are for easygoing saturday drinkers and single malts for real connoisseur like me. Well, japanese proved me wrong. This is simply astonishing. A very bourbon like, dry wood, nutty, fruity and endlessly complex dram. Unbelievable nose and that fancy bottle too. Light years ahead from Johnny Walker black label and gold label.
- Mikko, 3rd Dec '10
Very, Very good. But 'cos of price it's limited to sipping ! - quite remarkable and I taste differant qualities each time. Definite bourbon/ vanilla richness, a long lingering aftertaste. Although strong, its smooth enough to drink neat. Shame the bottle is only 50cl!
- tim nice but dim, 21st Nov '10
Japan yet again show that they are the masters of well priced wonders. Add a little water and prepare to be amazed at the complexity at the price. One of the best finishes I have encountered.
- J.D, 16th Aug '10
Bought this whisky on the strength of the recommendations above (and the WWA award) and was not disappointed. A beautiful blend, has a purity and balance that's amazing--has become perhaps my favorite non-peaty whisky. Just ordered three more bottles (the 50cl goes fast, so stock up).