We’ve had our fair share of Nikka here on BEXSONN.com and yet, an expression that we’ve haven’t posted tasting notes on but have wanted to for some time, is the Premium Blend range. This iconic blend by the renowned Japanese distillery is a worthy showcase of the Nikka blenders’ know-how and skill. With a majority of the malt whisky from Nikka’s two distilleries in northern Japan – Yoichi and Miyagikyo (both of which we’ve highlighted over the years) and a grain whisky distilled in a Coffey still, all the elements at the heart of Nikka are brought together in one exceptional whisky. It is rich in depth, with characteristics from both distilleries mentioned but yet still retains its uniqueness.
On the nose: are enticing notes of peaches, apricots and mandarins, followed by notes of honey, demerara sugar, vanilla and a hint of lemon zest. These initial notes are followed by aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as raisins, a suggestion of floral notes and green herbs. Rounding-off the nose are notes of poached pears, oatmeal, barley, beeswax and a hit of smoke. The palate: is replete with those peaches, apricots and mandarins, surrounded by coffee, liquorice, a leathery note and tobacco. That smokey note is much more apparent on the palate and is nicely complimented by notes of lemon zest, plums and intense dark chocolate. There’s some lovely subtle notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, coupled with moss and green herbaceous notes. The palate is completed with notes of apples, prunes and some light floral notes. The finish: long, bittersweet, with lingering notes of spices, zest, aniseed, tobacco and coconut milk.
The verdict: This Nikka finely balances the best of both Miyagikyo and Yoichi, with a little bit of grain whisky thrown into the mix too. It embodies everything that is so good about Japanese whisky, its delicate, complex and so well-balanced. It’s got so much flavour and character that’ll keep you going back for more just to see what other flavours you can uncover. Bottled at an ABV of 43% – this 12yo Premium Blend in my opinion, doesn’t need any water at all. However, if you want to access the plethora of notes on offer – leave it to breathe for 3-5 minutes.
The Nikka 12 Years Premium Blended Whisky is available to buy online or in-store at any well-stocked whisky shop, for approximately £100.
For more information on this 12-Year-Old Premium Blend, visit the official Nikka website.