Nikka from the Barrel is a whisky I have been longing to try for quite some time and when the opportunity to purchase this on offer at Waitrose I did not hesitate to grab a bottle. Every opinion I have seen on this is nothing but positive. This is bottled as a 50cl, so not your typical bottle size, so you need to factor this when thinking about value for money. I got it for £30 on offer. The two main players in Japan are Nikka and Suntory. Obviously this one is from Nikka and it is made from a mix of malts from their Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. It is presented at 51.4% so approach with caution.
Whisky: Nikka Whisky from the Barrel, Blended Whisky, 51.4%
Nose: Bourbon, vanilla, cherry, stewed fruits, cinnamon, brown sugar
Taste: Cherry cola, stewed berries, strawberry chewits, pepper, oak, dark chocolate
Finish: Dark chocolate, pepper
Summary: This is seriously mouth watering stuff. If it wasn’t for the high alcohol volume I could easily drink quite a lot of this in one sitting. On the nose this comes across as a bourbon that has been aged to perfection and despite the alcohol heat you can not escape the juicy sweetness pouring out from the aroma. I didn’t get the burn I was expecting on the taste and instead the juicy fruitiness carried on. I could sip this comfortably without water. A drop or two doesn’t do it any harm either. Towards the end the spice kicks in and I got that dark chocolate bitterness with a bit of pepper, which I find can be a good or bad thing depending on the style of whisky. In this case the bitterness provided a balance to the sweetness preceding it. This is very moreish and I will be keeping it on rotation.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com