Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sample Sessions 3: Single Cask Miyagikyo 2000

Distilled: Feb,2000 - Bottled: Sept, 2013 - Warehouse no. 25 - ABV: 59% - Cask: 15805

Nose: If it wasn't stated you would never pick this to have such a reasonably high abv. Nothing but extremely clean and fresh. No hard hitting alcohol notes here. Smooth and mellow but beautifully aromatic. An assorted fruit basket with all the familiars: tangerine, cantaloupe, honey dew, Japanese pear, and overripe persimmon. Then, rich baked banana in ripe skins sprinkled heavily with cinnamon. Am I not mistaken to spot a bit of sour Umeshu? The exotic fruits begin to give way to greenery, slightly dusty, and with time in the glass hints of good old Juicy Fruit gum - and let's not forget the citrus but in artificial form: Pineapple Lifesavers. The addition of water is amazing: aromatic wood and the pineapple just flows (pine/lime).

Taste: What a dry and surprisingly spicy little number, I was expecting the palate to be just as lush as the nose. However, there is lychee, durian, cinnamon, BBQ shapes, and loads of pink grapefruit, therefore a tad bitter. In my opinion there is a very reminiscent quality of rum, more spicy than sweet. Dark chocolate comes into play faintly from here but if I must be honest I expected more in comparison with the nose. Water really ramps up the deal with spicy musk and aromatic wood. Water does this malt a lot of favours - now I really like it.

Finish: Bitter sweet on lychee and durian. With water a whole new ball game between sweet & sour.

Comment: I haven't tried a lot of single cask Miyagikyo's however, the casks I have tried were some of the best whiskies to date. This was pleasant enough and good value for money at the time of sale. A reasonably complex whisky for the age.


  1. The only single cask Miyagikyo that I ever tried was a 12yo (bottled in 2012) with very distinct banana flavours on the nose and the dark chocolate element on the palate - similar to your experience, Clint! It would be interesting to hear more about their cask management. Based on the flavours, would you say that they use a high number of heavily charred casks?

    1. Of course it is purely an opinion but I'd say that could well be possible. I'm not sure if they casks used are heavily charred but certainly I'd think there would be a big percentage that are lightly toasted. Nikka generally has good cask management as you know, particular with Yoichi therefore, it could be safe presume the same wood policys / cask management goes for Miyagikyo also. Interesting question, Pierre. I'd like to find out more about that in detail.