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A very cool, unusual design of the bottle and packaging sprinkled full with japanese symbols I have yet to interpret. The Nikka from the barrel is good. Impressive when taken into consideration that it's a blended whisky.
Nose Big marzipan, chocolate, a hint of banana, sweet spice, a subtle air of fresh mint, some sherry dryness, buttery, wood, leather, White pepper, cloves, vanilla. The nose is where the complexity is in this whisky. Given time to breathe it changes ongoing revealing new aromas every couple of minutes. My advice is to give it plenty of time in the glass.
Palate Sweet arrival with red berries, a very slight whiff of smoke, mint, dried figs and apricots. It is quite round and balanced in taste, even when taken neat it stays very measured. almost a bit restrained.
Finish Rather short. Red berries, citrus zest, figs vanilla, ginger, quite peppery if taken neat. It still feels very controlled not taking of in any direction but staying firmly on course. The nuances are there but you would rather have to look for them. Elegant but not bold and exciting.
One thing i Notices is that it can't handle too much water so be gentle when adding your drops.
All in all a nice dram and definitely one of my first choices among the blended whiskies I've tried.