Nikka Super Old vs New Japanese Blends

Wow! Time flies! Our evening comparing Japanese blends from the 1980s and today took place early 2020 in Mumbai. We kicked off with a pair from Suntory, followed by these Nikka Super Old bottles.

The story told by the Nikka folks is:

Super Nikka is a blended whisky born in 1962.
Masataka devoted himself into creating this whisky soon after his wife Rita’s death to represent his deep love for her.
He could never have accomplished his dream to make genuine whisky in Japan without the support from Rita.

Since 1962, little has changed about the bottle… but what about the contents of this blend?

Nikka Super 43% from 1980s

  • Nose – Initially a promising nose – started nice, fruity, quite summery, think pears… then lightened more, cotton candy, lots of sugars, balsa wood, then nail varnish
  • Palate – Grain… wood pine, very different, round full, but doesn’t coat, puckering, wood, moth balls, pine lysol, dusty old cupboard
  • Finish – What finish? Really wasn’t much of any

Nose and taste were contrasting…  And after we returned? Hmm… sorry no polite way to put it… it was simply nasty. Sorry… what ever happened sitting for decades it didn’t do this  dram any favours I’m afraid.

Nikka Super 43% from today….

  • Nose – Varnish, little to nothing on the nose, maybe linseed oil?
  • Palate – Was it better on the palate than nose? Nope… grape juice
  • Finish – Blank… simply blank…

How different this was from our previous experience with the European revival version!

Again, I will admit I wasn’t at my best… my olfactory senses dulled by illness, but I had company in a less than enthusiastic reaction. Just check out the fabulous notes on the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai blog.

However our less than stellar impressions didn’t diminish the appreciation of trying a bit of history in a bottle side by side with its modern avatar. A worthy experiment indeed!

And above all the company of our combined Whisky Ladies and Bombay Malt & Cigar gents evening was fabulous and I miss our tastings immensely!

What about other whiskies sampled from Nikka including at Whisky Live Singapore 2016

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