Last in the Whisky Ladies “Diwali Drams” evening was a “head to head” comparison between two Nikka blends – their cask strength “From the Barrel” and a revival of an earlier incarnation of their standard “Super Nikka Whisky”.
Most would know that Nikka, the company, uses “Nikka” as the brand name for their range of whisky blends which are either:
- A “pure” or vatted malt i.e. bringing together only their single malts – Yoichi & Miyagikyo – without any grain – like their Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 year 43% or Nikka Pure Malt 21 year 43%
- A “blend“, bringing together their Yoichi & Miyagikyo single malts with Coffey Grain… to create their Nikka Blended Whisky 40% or The Nikka 12 year 43%
Both our whiskies fall into the “blend” category… What did our Whisky Ladies think?
- Nose – Coconut, like sweet honey nectar, fruits like pears, a bit of acetone, then coriander (or cilantro or… there was a debate on the different varieties!). After a sip, the nose gained some oil and nuts, then shifted into marshmallow and candied nuts.
- Palate – We found it was like melted caramel, dense and buttery like a maple butter tart, some sweet raisins too… quite thick on the palate
- Finish – Last and last and lasts.
Some absolutely loved it! Appreciating how it is bursting with character, a complex drink, one where a little goes a long way.
Words like “Fabulous!” and “Mmmm” could be heard. The finish in particular was described as a “Fabulous, fantastic finish!” And exclaims of how well it could pair with certain food too.
And yet for some, this was almost too much… in its sweet aromas, its dense concentration of flavours and long finish.
What do the folks at Nikka have to say about “From the Barrel”?
This is a blend of multiple types of malt and grain that Nikka reserves. Nikka From the Barrel was created to deliver full flavors and richness of whisky “from barrels” which only blenders can sniff and taste. As the whisky contains so many characteristic components at a higher alcohol of 51.4%, it is essential to let the liquid “marriage” in used casks for 3-6 months for it to stabilize and harmonize. The concept of the unique short squared bottle is “a small lump of whisky”, which perfectly visualizes the rich and strong taste of the whisky inside.
PS – There may be added colour i.e. caramel.
The Nikka “From the Barrel” is a 50 cl bottle, sometimes found in duty free for around $50-75 and was opened during our session in Oct 2017.
Whiskies sampled in our Diwali Drams evening included:
- Hakushu NAS 43%
- Bhutan’s K5 40% vs Misty Peak 40%
- Nikka From the Barrel 51.4% vs Super Nikka Whisky 43%
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