Monday, October 17, 2011

Arita-Yaki Nikka Bottling

On a recent and pleasurable trip to the blue skies and fresh air of Tottori prefecture, I struck gold. Gold not as in the yellow precious metal but something that is equally precious. A bottle of Nikka’s Super blended whisky. The nectar in this bottle maybe considered average by some, but the bottle itself is somewhat beyond typical. The commemorative decanter is fine Imari porcelain, a renowned name for porcelain ware made in the town of Arita, northwestern Kyushu. The porcelain ware produced in the town is nationally known better as Arita-yaki (有田焼). The fine pearly white bottle, which is beautifully illustrated with vibrant blossoms, was handmade for Nikka. This remarkable whisky bottle that reputedly sat on a shelf for almost 30 years or more is still sealed and full. The labels, which state the whisky being bottled in Minatoku, Tokyo have taken a bit of a battering but nevertheless remain intact. I’m not going to pretend I have vast knowledge about this commemorative bottling; the simple truth is I don’t. I have used resources to try and find out further details but have not come up with anything than what I have written. Whiskies R Us invites any comments or feedback.

Alcohol percentage: 43%
Volume: 700ml
Batch: 08J12


  1. I have a bottle of nikka whisky given to me in 1993. Its pure white with cranes on the side and a medal hanging around the neck of the bottle. Still sealed and full! Any idea how long this was aged and what would this go for today! Thank you mike.

  2. Hi Mike, that sounds like the ceramic bottling of the Tsuru 17yo. A great dram indeed. As I have mentioned to others before the value of this can be as little to some while a lot to others. I've had a quick look on foreign sites and they naturally go for a bit more than the RRP here in Japan. I'd suggest to drink it in the company of good friends and family.

  3. Hello I have this same bottle, except it is 600ml 43% batch number 08A52
    It's in mint condition labels and all. but haven't found any info at all on the web except for this blog. been debating if to drink it or sell it but have no idea what it might go for. I have pictures as well.

    1. Thank you for your email. Interesting to hear this also came in a 600ml version, if I must be honest I didn't know that. As for the value of this bottle or what it might sell for I presume would depend on the market. As an example they can still be picked up in Japan quite cheaply, although there is a domestic whisky boom in Japan right now following on from the shortage of whisky and the recently finished TV drama about the man who created the whisky inside the bottle you have. It sent a frenzy and people began buying up and paying more than usual on the second market. Having said that, there are crazy prices being had for these kinds of bottles at auction houses in Asia. But you have to consider at the end of the day you need to pay for shipping plus commissions etc, making it most likely not worth the effort. Although my advice would be to drink it and experience the old bottle you must note that the whisky inside may have changed over the years and might not be what you were expecting. it up on a special occasion and once finished display that lovely Arita-Yaki bottle around the house. An alternative is to try and take it to an antique collector in your home town who deals in Asian porcelain/ceramics.

    2. Thanks for the reply! I actually emailed Nikka and sent pictures of the bottle. This was their reply.
      The bottle is Arita ware making(Yauemon Kiln/有田焼 弥右衛門窯)
      The production is April, 1991 .
      The whisky of the contents is KINGSLAND of Nikka Whisky.
      It is 5,000 yen at a price at the time.

      We really appreciate your interest in Nikka Whisky.

      Sincerely yours,
      in charge of Nikka Whisky, Customer Relations Office,
      Asahi Breweries, Ltd.
      23-1,Azumabashi 1-chome,Sumida-ku, Tokyo JAPAN 130-8602

      I've been displaying it with my Japanese China in my home since around 1996 it was a gift from a neighbor that would frequent Japan. I believe I'm gonna wait for winter time and crack it open and enjoy it. Thanks for the reply and info! Hope this extra info helps others who might have this bottle.

  4. Hi ive got the same bottle I've been trying for years to validate it and get info I wrote to the makers they eventually sent me back some info but they said it was made earlier I have thought it rare but it seems it is not I have had this bottle nearly 25 years just sitting waiting for info lol feel bit dissapointed now lol but thanks for info ......