This lesser known blend by Nikka is meant for the Japanese market. The label says ‘Malt Base Whisky’. What does that mean? That it contains malt whisky and thus is a blend, I suppose, as this Nikka is simply called ‘The Blend’. A little confusing as there is also another bottling called ‘The Blend of Nikka’, which has another recipe. Anyway, let’s get to it. Well, the nose offers a big dollop of sweet malt, but also some candlewax and olive oil. I would not call this fruity, although it does has a hint of banana, but little else. Having said that, this is quite a pleasant nose, although a bit austere and direct, if you know what I mean. On the palate, I’m not convinced, to be honest. It is fairly dry, spicy and shows a lot of wood. It tastes a little metallic. But the mix clearly contained some peaty whisky as well, for the smokiness becomes quite big and even has a salty edge. Ginger is the spice on duty. The finish is short, but very peaty. Unfortunately I cannot get rid of the metallic taste. This has nothing to do with the soft and sweet blends that I have tried from Nikka before. This is, however, quite close to the Nikka Pure Malt Black.