Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Black Nikka Rich Blend 40%

Nose: Reasonably clean, an initial alcohol presence but fades extremely quickly. There is a few forms of orange sending out signals: tangy orange powder, orange sherbet, and dry peel falling to very suggestive passion fruit and/or pomegranate. Then in no particular order a mixture of dry weak sherry, leather, and corduroy (pants/jackets). A little creamy I might add.

Taste: Clean, smooth, and very acceptable. It is however, a tad on the watery side. Moderate clean spice on the palate with minimal cigar leaf, and a hint - and I do mean a hint of licorice. The spice is pretty consistent really - becomes tamer gradually, it mingles with bitterness: non-sweetened bitter chocolate, old peel, and leather.

Finish: Short - moderate and a bit watery with peppered bean shoots. Bitter chocolate from here on with grapefruit peel.

Comment: Great cost performance, better than its sibling (Nikka Clear) but it tends to go a bit pear shaped at certain intervals - well something transforms after awhile anyway. I've dabbled in using this blend in a highball (might make the purists look away - but perfectly ok), which I must say is quite nice. Again, reasonably pleasant as is (it will be good between malts to refresh your palate) but I can see myself mixing this on more occasions than drinking it straight. Despite the tiny downfalls I will have this in my cabinet at hand often over summer. In short its not bad - as you can tell by my consumption, and that alone I think allows me to give it the Whiskies R Us (my personal liking) seal of approval.

Reviewed by Clint A


  1. Finding the pocket size bottle of Rich Blend was quite easy; it was in my neighborhood convenience store. Locating a full size bottle was not quite as easy. After going to about six liquor stores in Yokohama and the surrounding area I was still empty handed. On my way home on the Kekyu train line I stopped in the town of Kamiooka to check a couple liquor stores there and while heading to the second store I passed through a small grocery store that I knew sold booze and there it was on the shelf! I bought two bottles.

    Clint, I fully concur with your review of Rich Blend. And, I’m sure it will soon become more readily available here in Japan because Nikka intends to sell a lot of this stuff. Good for them – good for us!


  2. I would have thought it would be easy to come across it. Having said that I only found it at certain places and not at others. I think it is safe to say it will be available at major supermarkets.