When the Community review for Nikka from the Barrel came up, I was sure I could buy it. And that was quickly dashed when I found out that it’s not sold in North America.
Also, the name just seems silly to me. Nikka from the Barrel as opposed to… Nikka from the air? Nikka from the sewer drain pipe? Nikka from a glass slipper, poured down a stripper named Candy’s leg?
Luckily, /u/sudebaker103 came to the rescue (not with the Stripper, with the sample). Not to mention made it fancy . After a quick, sweet swap that will eventually lead me to amping up the Japanese malts I’ll be testing, I’m good to go.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Nose: Floral, caramel, cinnamon, tannic, raspberry, vanilla custard, metallic, taro
Like I find in most Japanese malts I’ve had, this one bounces around to attempt to be a mixture of all Scottish regions. First off you get Lowland floral notes, followed by Highland caramel sweet notes, and finishing with Speyside fruity, tannic notes. And just to make sure you know the terroir, there’s an earthy component that smells like taro.
Mmmm… purple potato is one of my favourites.
Taste: Caramel, chili, ginger, nutmeg, currant, coconut milk, anise
Big, big notes of caramel and spices. Eventually goes really creamy, like I’ve been in the bag alley and there’s going to be much fish this year.
Finish: Caramel, sea salt, raspberry, mineral water, truffle, ginger, melon juice, smoke, dry
Complex finish on this one, though there’s a mineral flavour that dominates that I’m not a fan of. Also the smoke and dryness that comes out is a tad off putting.
Conclusion: I like this better than some other Japanese malts that I’ve had, and it tastes better than the Yoichi. It has some off notes, like the mineral flavour at the end, and as I’ve said before, it’s typical Japanese malt in that it’s ALL over the place.
Overall though, I’d probably still recommend this as the Japanese dram that people should try first.
World Whisky review #38, Japanese #5, Whisky Network review #188
1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #108
101 Whiskies to try before you die review #28