Thursday, February 13, 2014

Back to Basics (2): Nikka Black 8yo 40% abv

This efficiently low cost blend is made from Coffey grain and malt from the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries respectively (according to the back of the label). The average price for this blend is usually around 1,380 yen (2014), but it can be purchased at a cheaper price depending on place of purchase, same goes for the Malt Club featured in Part 1 (here).

Nose: Surprisingly decent with no overly harsh elements. Medium, fruity malt without any overpowering grain. Distinctive green apple skin, red skins lollies, trademark grape bubble gum (Hubba Bubba), and citrus sherbet (more on the orange side). If your patient it transits to blueberry herb tea. The grain becomes present after a while in the glass but its buttery, and reasonable. From here hints of lightly sugared cornflakes and mashed banana with water. Some faint wood vanilla, and again cereals.

Taste: Mild saltiness (salty caramel?) on first contact with your tongue that mingles with mild pepper. Not that much to compare with the nose in terms of fruitiness. Herbal. Spicy barley sugar. The grain is much more present here...tongue tingling and mouth numbing. Water ramps up the grain and adds mild bitter vegetables, and buttery spiced vanilla . It is a bit spirity, with cereals.

Finish: Relatively long with mild herbs and pepper. Your mouth continues to buzz for a while. There is some kind of solvent evident also (but not off putting).

Comment: A fairly good nose really. If there was a bit more to the palate then it would be a reasonably decent low cost blend. This is another whisky where the nose wins hands down, and possibly well suited for highballs.


  1. Sounds very tasty and lush!
    Do you sell this at Hankyu for a good price?

    1. It's decent but I wouldn't say it's lush. Neither is it a "drain pourer". The nose, in my opinion was nice enough, worth a try, and possibly a good blend between malts, or an introductory dram perhaps? Maybe the best thing for you to do is grab a bottle, if you do I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. This is not available at Hankyu however, you can find it almost anywhere - including the discount shops: Don Qiote.