Welcome to the sixth installment of our regular Whisky Under Fifty reviews, where we review a different whisky (or whiskey) that you can buy for less than £50! If you’d like to know more about why we’re doing this series, read our introduction post here. Today’s whisky is Nikka From the Barrel Japanese Whisky.
The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. is one of Japan’s oldest and most revered whisky producers. Founded by Masataka Taketsuru, also referred to as the father of Japanese whisky, the first distillery was built in Yoichi in 1934. From humble beginnings the company has gone on to be one of the largest and most influential producers of Japanese whiskies.
Nikka From The Barrel is a blend of whiskies from both their Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries, comprising a wide variety of casks including sherry hogsheads and bourbon barrels. While it’s not bottled at true cask strength, Nikka have released it at a very respectable 51.4% (or 90 British proof). According to them, it’s designed to evoke the experience of sampling whiskies straight from the barrel, as a blender would. In any case, it’s garnered great reviews from whisky critics and judges, winning Whisky Advocate’s Whisky of the Year in 2018. Read what we thought below.
Clove-studded orange, cinnamon and a hint of cola. Reminiscent of a sweet Old Fashioned cocktail.
Butterscotch and toffee come through to give it a rich sweet body, plus loads more spice. Caramelized ginger, walnuts and poached pears accompany the orange peel. A warming feel comes from toasty oak, tobacco and a pleasant heat from the alcohol.
Long, mouth-watering, and complex.
Even though there’s a lot going on here flavour-wise, it’s all in balance especially given the higher-than-standard ABV. This is wonderfully satisfying, punchy yet comforting. And the fact that it comes in under our £50 budget make it great value for money, given some Japanese whiskies are now selling for hundreds! One to savour on a cooler autumn night.
Flavour categories: Musty, Dry Spice, Baking Spice
Get it here for £39.99.
Aberlour, especially their A’bunadh edition. If you’re usually a fan of spicy American whiskey, like Pappy Van Winkle or Woodford Reserve Bourbon you might also enjoy Nikka From The Barrel.
You can read more about Japan’s whisky-making scene on our post all about Japanese whisky.
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Want to read more reviews in the Whisky Under £50 series? Check out the previous review, James Eadie Trade Mark X Blended Scotch Whisky.