Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt Japanese Whisky
This is a single malt from the Miyagikyo distillery, Nikka’s second distillery built in 1969. The founder Masataka Taketsuru chose this site in the mountains of Sendai to contrast with his first distillery, Yoichi, located in the coastal area. Using less peaty malt and distilled in a pot still heated by indirect steam, Miyagikyo single malt has an elegant fruitiness and a distinctive aroma with a strong Sherry cask influence.
Replacing the previous NAS Miyagikyo single malt as well as the remaining age statement expressions, this single release will represent the distillery going forward as demand for Japanese whisky remains as strong as ever. The new single malt is said to be made with whiskies spanning various ages (hinting at the inclusion of older whiskies than the previous NAS release) with classic delicate, floral character and primarily ex-Sherry casks used for maturation.
It was inevitable that shortages of mature stock would lead to new releases sans the age statement, like this one from Nikka Whisky Distilling Company in Japan. Miyagikyo Single Malt was launched Stateside in September 2016 along with Yoichi Single Malt, made at Nikka’s other distillery. Miyagikyo Distillery is located in the Miyagi Prefecture, northeast of Honshu, where the fresh waters of the Nikkawa and Hirose rivers meet. Mostly unpeated barley is used at the distillery, though this single malt contains a portion of slightly peated malt. Casks of sherry, new American oak, ex-bourbon oak, and others were utilized for maturation. It’s bottled at 45% ABV.
Full-flavoured, rich. Initially, concentrated iris notes hint at the extreme intensity of the nose. It then develops aromas of malted barley, exotic fruit (banana), liquorice and camphor. Notes of burnt wood and ash progressively settle over the aromatic palette. Long after, white flowers and beeswax make an appearance.
Firm, lively. Malted barley is at the heart of the palate, coated in herbaceous, liquorice, spiced (ginger, cinnamon) and chocolate tones. Very elegant, the mid-palate also delivers plenty of energy and as it draws to a close, fresh tobacco leaves and coconut intertwine to create a natural symphony of aromas.
Long, soft. It evokes the scent of wilted roses. Fine tannins balance its tangy character (lemon, grapefruit). It lingers on notes of tobacco, spices (cardamom, ginger), toasted nuts and stewed fruits (apple, damson). The final nose reveals exotic notes (lychee).