Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nikka's All Malt Sibling

On a recent escapade to yet again the humble supermarket, I came across a find that appears to have fallen under the radar. Nikka’s All Malt, fairly familiar to enthusiasts of Japanese whisky, appears to have a new sibling, and I’m not talking about Malt Club that is bottled in an identical bottle. Nikka’s All Malt, which is a blended malt whisky that states being made with Yoichi, Miyagikyo, and malt whisky from the their Coffey still, apparently now comes in two different tastes. According to a staff member at the supermarket, the newly orange coloured label pictured on the right is smoother and slightly drier compared the original silver labeled bottling pictured on the left. Both All Malt expressions have an identical label and again bottle shape, both have an alcohol volume of 40% and come in 700mls. Since I have not tasted the newly flavoured edition and it only coming to my attention, any further information on this from readers is encouraged.

Update 09/21/2011: Dramtastic (aka Brian) kindly quoted a brief explanation from The Whisky Exchange website. " A fascinating whisky made with Yoichi, Miyagikyou and some 'grain' whisky that isn't really grain - it's malt whisky made in a Coffey still at Miyagikyo! So this is really a vatted malt, or 'blended malt whisky' as we're supposed to call it these days" Therefore it appears the wording in the post "containing grain whisky" is an error.

Update 09/22/2011: changed the text "grain" to "malt whisky from their Coffey still".


  1. Well if it's "All Malt" which thought I it was, pretty hard to have grain whisky added?
    Just a thought.


  2. A brief explanation from The Whisky Exchange website.
    A fascinating whisky made with Yoichi, Miyagikyou and some 'grain' whisky that isn't really grain - it's malt whisky made in a Coffey still at Miyagikyo! So this is really a vatted malt, or 'blended malt whisky' as we're supposed to call it these days

  3. yep certainly see what you mean Brian, hard to understand it having "grain". But I came across a few sources that stated "some grain added" hence adding the wording "states". It is not logical, I will try and dig up the sources. Have you tried the dark orange (new taste) labeled bottle on the right Brian? Cheers

  4. Sorry Brian, I had my reply to your comment sitting in the post box for 2 hours, got back to the computer and hit post without reading your second comment. Yes, that was one of the sources I came across, but the other sources where in Japanese and when translated it states grain. I will up date the post with according to your comment. Thanks again.

  5. The Nikka site confirms the use of malt whisky from their Coffey still. http://www.nikka.com/products/newmalt/top.html (hit enter, skip the intro, then at the bottom; second tab from the right of the "Top" tab)

  6. Thanks guys for the input and corrections. Now all lets taste the new version.

  7. Haven't tasted the new label bottle Clint, but I'm very sceptical that it is any different to the old label. The staff at any of my local liquor stores are barely knowledgeable about whisky let alone one of the yokels working at the supermarket.
    Different colour label, just a simple marketing tool IMO.
    The photo of my bottle on nonjatta from 14mts ago seems almost like a cross between the 2 in colour though it could just be the light.

    I do remember it was cheap to buy, around Y1000 but still good quality. Reminded me somewhat of Old Pulteney 12. Good session whisky.

  8. Had another look in a few shops on the weekend. Including Yamaya, a decent shop in Kyoto, and Co-op this time and each shop had both coloured labels (pictured above) right next to each other on the shelves. The original silvery type gold trimmed labeled All Malt is retailing at 1250 yen while the new orangey lable with a different patterned gold trim is at 1350. The price difference suggest either two things really IMO, one that as Brian mentioned, just another marketing gimmick and have changed the colour of the label to justify the 100 yen mark up, by saying it is different in taste until all the silver labeled bottles get sold. Or in actual fact the 100 yen difference is actually due to a difference in taste. Yamaya also said it was a different taste. But I do agree, supermarket staff are barely knowledgeable when it comes to whisky. Either way there is certainly 2 varied labels out. Perhaps I better get both again and see what this is all about my self hey. Thanks again.

  9. Actually came across another label yesterday with 2000 Anniversary written in red on it.
    Wonder if that's another Y100 on top again.