Review #63 Nikka Miyagikyo: Japanese
Score: 8.6 / 10
Distillery: Nikka Miyagikyo
Type: Single Malt Whisky
In my opinion, Nikka is the best whisky brand in Japanese whisky. There I said it. Go buy this. Just kidding, I can say a little more if you are not already convinced.
Nikka is the second oldest chain of distilleries in Japan, with Suntory being the oldest. Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka worked at Suntory before he decided that he had a new direction for Japanese whisky. The Miyagikyo distillery opened in 1969, so you are well out of that craft range. Most Japanese whiskeys are distilled the same as scotch whiskys, using pot stills and blending many expressions. They do however make a few single malt expressions such as the Miyagikyo being reviewed here.
The only criticism Suntory and Nikka have recently received is the fact that they have been removing most age statements. However, this is only due to supply issues. I know scotch has had these issues as well, but having been to Japan, there is way too much pride in their products to not bring them back as soon as they can.
If you want to know more about this expression and the other Nikka core expressions, check out episode 9 of the Po It Up whiskey podcast here.
Nose: Rush of green apple and caramel. (Reminds me of those caramel apple pops). Many citrus fruits are present, oak, sugar cookie dough.
Palate: More green apple, it just keeps going. Caramel, various mixed nuts, white chocolate, slight ethanol and a mild tobacco found in a lot of Japanese expressions.
Finish: Pretty short finish. Citrus fruits are still there lingering. tobacco and ethanol mix, with a transition to pineapple that stays after the fade.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Notes: Availability? Uncommon - Rare. In the US, I have only seen this at Total Wine. Also, just so you know, Republic National, the distributor for most if not all Nikka products seems to solely want these at Total Wine. I'm not sure if its a supply issue or what, but definitely look there first for any Nikka products
Overall, this is one of my favorite expressions from Nikka. That green apple sucker can hit you just right on certain days and it's hard to replace that flavor in your house lineup.