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Nikka from the Barrel

乾杯!

5 785

@casualtortureReview by @casualtorture

11th Dec 2020

1

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
    ~
  • Overall
    85

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is a fresh bottle of Nikka Whisky from the Barrel. Being fresh, I've let it sit for about 30min before giving it any attention. I'm acting as a mule for this bottle for someone in a board controlled state where this isn't for sale (land of the free huh?). This is 51.4%abv and I have heard good things about it. But everyone's palate is different and I generally haven't been a huge fan of the Japanese whiskies I've tried so far. But this will be the highest proof whisky I've had from the island nation. Neat in a Glencairn.

Nose: The first thing I notice is that this is smoky! I was not expecting that. The nose reminds me a bit of Hakushu 12. A tad smoky and floral, with a good helping of vanilla and a bit of grain. Not a ton of heat for something over 100 proof. Ah, there must be some sherry casks in this blend. It took me just a second but now I notice sherry. Some grapes, plums and raspberries. It's a very subtle sherry though. An interesting nose to say the least. It's actually changed a lot since I started nosing it so I may let it sit for longer... Yes, the longer it sits, the less smoke and grain there is and the more of the sherry fruit comes out. It really changed a lot in less than an hour of air time.

Palate: Ok now this is interesting. This is a whisky first for me. I get smoked salmon from this. No joke. This palate has a lot going on. The smoked salmon is the first thing that comes to mind. Some grain. Some vanilla and honey. Then the sherry fruits come in after everything else. The first sip was literally head turning. I've never gotten fish from a whisky. Salinity, sure (Talisker, Springbank) but those didn't have a smoked fish taste. I must say this is unique. I like it personally, but I'm sure smoked fish would be a very subjective quality in a whisky for most people. I find it refreshingly new (for me) and interesting.

Finish: More like the nose on the finish, less sherry, more smoky with a hint of seawater. After everything else some honey and vanilla linger. This must have been a good mix of different casks. I'm getting sherry notes and bourbon notes with equal intensity. Well done whomever blended this.

Overall: This is an interesting whisky and I really enjoyed breaking it down. There is a lot going on. I would love to try this after another 5 years in oak, I think it would do wonders. Would I buy one for $70? Maybe, there are other things I would buy first though.

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7 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Nice review. I did not taste or smell fish from my bottle except on the day I reviewed it, when I had cooked gefilte fish. I HAVE smelled fish in Old Pulteney, and smoked salmon in one bottle of Bowmore that someone once brought to my home...

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@Nozinan I need to get an Old Pulteney 17 before they changed the bottle design. Apparently those are outstanding.

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

@NamBeist
NamBeist commented

@casualtorture Thank you for your review. If you like to taste fish in your whisky, you may like to try Såntis Malt Dreifaltichkeit, a Swiss whisky. It tastes like smoked makrel (and bacon). It is certainly not for the faint of hearts. It lacks fruit, flowers and vanilla. It is very smoky indeed. It is not well liked by everyone. It's an acquired taste.

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@NamBeist I have two small bottles of 2 different Santis Malt expressions. I promised @paddockjudge I would taste them with him.

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

@NamBeist
NamBeist commented

@Nozinan I would love to read the impressions of the Såntis Malt Dreifaltichkeit of both of you.

about one month ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@NamBeist you made me go and dig out the 2 bottles my friend gave me. Looks like the bigger of the two is the one you mentioned, and the other one is finished in wine casks. I’m now quite curious.

But we will all have to wait. There is no telling when whisky aficionados will be once more permitted to gather to appreciate and discover...

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

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@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@NamBeist I'm always open to trying new whiskies especially from different countries.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

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