Nikka Miyagikyo 15 Year Old Japanese Single Malt: Over a month ago we looked at the Miyagikyo none age statement, this time round we are looking at an aged expression. Here is a recap in case you didn’t read the tasting notes on the no age statement Miyagikyo. The Miyaikyo distillery (pronounced mee-yag-ee-kyo), was found in 1969 and is owned by the Nikka Whisky Distilling Company – who also own other well-known distilleries. The location of Miyagikyo was chosen by Masataka Taketsuru, who founded Nikka in 1933. In case you were unaware, Mr. Taketsuru is a legend in the Japanese whisky industry having helped to set up the country’s first single malt distillery of Yamazaki in 1923, before going out on his own, forming Nikka and building Yoichi. This 15-year-old Miyagikyo, is more than just an aged version of the no age statement expression. It is of course mature but with maturity comes complexity.
On the nose: a beautiful waft of sweet tangerine, vanilla pod and a dark sherry note. Notes of toasted almonds will start to emerge, followed by notes of peaches, aniseed, pear drops and an interesting musky note. After a few swirls in the glass, notes of toffee, lemon, elderflower and tobacco become more pronounced. On the palate: its dry but the texture is oily and that note of sherry is ever-present. Notes of pears, tobacco, vanilla and toffee start to appear. A sweet note of honey is detected on the palate, alongside almonds, aniseed and a kick of spices. Completing the palate is a hint of elderflower, oak and smoke. The finish: long, peppery, with lingering smoke and nuttiness.
The verdict: I’m always intrigued by Japanese whisky, as I’ve yet to be disappointed. This 15-year-old Miyagikyo has a lovely combination of notes that just seem to keep expanding with a touch of water. It is a full-bodied whisky that is perfectly balanced. Nikka Miyagikyo 15yo has an ABV of 45% – making it a whisky that in my opinion, didn’t need any water at all. However, if you want to access the plethora of notes on offer – you’ll have to add a few drops of mineral water.
Nikka Miyagikyo 15-year-old Japanese Single Malt Whisky is available online or in well-stocked Whisky Shops, for approximately £105.
For more information on the Miyagikyo 15-year-old, visit the official Nikka website.