Friday, May 25, 2012

The Blend of Nikka Selection Malt Base Whisky 40%abv

Nose: Complex. Trademark Nikka aromas: Hubba Bubba bubblegum (original/grape). White chocolate: Freddo Frogs, soil encrusted potatoes, brewed tea leaves: earl grey, incense, and fragrance: stale pot puri mix. A slight sarsaparilla syrup note is also present.

Taste: Extremely smooth and silky yet slightly too light. Liquorice with malty tonnes and robust cereals. Vegetal: peppered bean shoots and seeded green Mediterranean olives and minerals.

Finish: Shortly lived but pleasant enough. An initial explosion of liquorice followed by mild black pepper and bean sprouts which rolls out to grain and cereals.

Comment: Although pleasant, the taste unfortunately is not as spectacular as the nose, unusual for a Nikka in my opinion, usually you get the best of both worlds. The "Selection" blend made its debut in 1987; my bottle is fortunately from this era given the labelling and story behind it. You can still be lucky enough to come across bottlings of this, which are apparently still produced in small quantities.

Review by Clint A


  1. Try the Regular Blend of Nikka 45%(not the 40%) from the same family Clint. I think it may be just what the doctor ordered. Nicely smokey as well.

    1. Thanks Brian, locked in and on the "to buy list". Regarding smoke, there was literally no smoke at all.....not even a subtle hint in my opinion which a found a little surprising. Though everything brought out by Nikka does not have peat present. Will add your recommendation to the shelf next week hopefully.

  2. Intersting Clint. I've had The Blend in 40%(bit week), the 45% Nas(as mentioned) and the 17YO. All had smoke al la Yoichi. I wonder if The Selection is dominated by Miyagikyo?

  3. My money is definitely on the dominance of Miyagikyo Brian, as I mentioned, there was no smoke, again purely my opinion only, but I have confidence in saying no smoke present, therefore highly unlikely a large percentage of Yoichi was used. There is some speculation in posts in Japanese as to what Nikka malt is used in the "selection", some do suggest a bit of both. It may be the case, in writing so to speak, but on mouthfeel and aroma it dose not seem to be the case. If anyone else has tried this I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Goodness me, I've just realized how unbalanced the bottle is in the photo, I'm positive I took the photo before having a dram :)