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Nikka from the Barrel

Average score from 22 reviews and 80 ratings 87

Nikka from the Barrel

Product details

  • Brand: Nikka
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 51.4%

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Nikka from the Barrel

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.


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

@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...


One of the few Japanese Whiskys once can still obtain easily and that seems to be hitting US shores as of recently, Nikka must have caved in and had it bottled in 750ml rather than the customary 500ml bottles.

This is said to be a blend of malt & grain whisky, I won't even entertain the speculation that it's only from Japanese made spirits as the similarly packaged pure malt range contains Scottish whisky.

The whisky gets it's name from the fact the blend is put into refill casks to mellow out and marry before being bottled rather than a large stainless steel vat or tun. A practice I've heard other distillers mention Bruichladdich comes to mind. It is bottled in a distinct square blocky vessel, almost like medicine or a lab bottle, there are large 3L versions that come with a wooden stand and a glass pipette to dole out a measure of the whisky as well.

This is from a bottle circa 2017 from a sample graciously provided by @Robert99.

Nose: Caramel, Sweet oak, coconut. There's a sharp, slightly acetone like note but it's not unpleasant and doesn't mar the proceedings. Dried apricots, a prominent corn note like in bourbon. With time it develops on apple blossoms,creamed honey and apple skins.

**Palate:* Very full, old oak, a kind of rubber note, dark fruits and a touch of sulphur. Musky dried fruit like persimmons or longans, a light char/clean smoke and a mineral note.

Finish: Herbal, a touch of oregano/sage, bitter, dry and fairly boozy, honey and dry wood shavings.

The Blab: This is pretty decent and punchy I can see why some folks would love this, especially those for whom it's cask strength or bust. It loses steam because of that dry/bitter oak finish coupled with the sharpness at the tail end. I was often reminded of a Canadian whisky when drinking this. The char/smoke note is very faint when drinking the whisky but the empty glass after a few hours had a scent that reminded me of mesquite.

I'm glad I tasted this and if I could get the 500ml bottles at a good price I might consider keeping a bottle of this around.

I picked up 2 bottles of this, in 2015 I believe. I was thinking of parting with the second bottle if I could find someone to take it. But the last, decanted dram was quite delicious, and I decided to keep it around.

I believe Robert's assessment of the whisky was similar to yours, he felt it was getting much better with both air space and time. I liked this well enough, if it was the only Japanese whisky I've ever tried I might be slightly disappointed but it is very well blended.


Beautiful 50 cl bottle that looks like a perfume's. Inside it the whisky looks much darker, but once poured it is dark wheat with some greenish highlights. Aroma is very intense and sweetish: cookies, butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, toffee. Mouth is sweet as well, powerful and very oily, so as to cover the complete mouth inside. Aftertaste is mainly smoky. Very nice for a €30 bottle.


It has been almost four years since I last tasted a Nikka from the Barrel – which I found very good at the time – but that was bottled at 51,4% ABV. Today I try one from a bottle with a special label (Cask Room), bottled at 51%. The malt whisky is produced at both Yoichi and Myagikyo, while I presume that the grain whisky comes from their coffey stills at the first. The nose is surprisingly soft on flowers, apricots, eggnog and banana with a hint of citrus and a leaf of mint. Wonderful! It is mouth coating a soft, but with quite a prickle. Vanilla, caramel and a mix of peppers – it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. The fruit is less outspoken, though. A hint of coconut milk emerges. Reminds me a bit of a bourbon. Towards the end I get a light bitterness as if from tea. But truth be told: it promised a lot more on the nose. The finish can easily be called long with some woodsmoke and spices. I must say that I much preferred the other Nikka that I tasted in 2012.


It's the last night before the first seder of Passover. For those of you who do not know, grains (or their spirits - with the exception of quinoa for some reason), are not considered Kosher for Passover, and if even owned by a Jew during that time they becomes un-Kosher forever.

Some people get around this by "selling" their chometz and buying it back after passover. My solution is that, at least from a religious standpoint, my wife owns all of my spirits collection. Year round. Problem solved.

I do this only so that if I should ever wish to taste with someone form whom this is important, I can do it without worry. So around this time every year I render my entire collection "inaccessible". I will still drink whisky if the opportunity presents itself, but not in my home. After passover the barriers are removed.

So here I am in the basement, getting my last drams in. I'm in the basement because I made gefilte fish this afternoon and my main floor will need a week for me to be able to smell accurately up there. I decided to decant my bottle of Nikka from the barrel as it was getting low, and after putting the last dram in a 30 cc bottle, there were about 25 cc left for a review. The bottle has been gassed after each use, and was first opened Dec. 19, 2015.


Neat - spirity, sweet, a light syrup. I get a hint of fish broth, but that could be my hands. Some tart fruit. Some baking spice. It smells, can I say "grainy"? More fruity as it opens up in the glass. 21.5/25

With water - slighty more syrupy, a little less spirity, some dust. Golden Delicious apple, fresh and stewed with spices. (22/25)


Neat - First sip has a big alcohol nip. Fruity. Tastes "young". Sweet and sour. Originally the taste had a slightly unpleasant vegetal quality which is not present now. 21/25

With water - Harsh. No flavours in the first sip. Just alcohol, bitter.Some spices in the second sip, but most of the flavour has been washed out. Third sip is starting to come back but more hot and less fruity than before. (20/25)

Finish: short, unremarkable. 20/25. Water lengthens it a bit. (20/25)

Balance: Nicely balanced, but underpowered flavour for this level of ABV. 20/25. Becomes quite unbalanced with water. (18/25)

Score Neat: 82.5/100 With water: 80/100

Adjusted Score based on experience: 85/100

This is confusing. I usually like my CS drams (or close to it) with a little water, but in this case water was a disaster. Even neat, it is not the whisky I remember trying over a year ago. Despite being gassed and allowed to open in the glass, I wonder if this bottle has been open too long. Again, unusual for a high proof spirit.

The next question I have is whether it is truly at Cask Strength. It is called "from the barrel", not straight from or barrel proof. I am often skeptical of "cask strength" offerings that are the same ABV for every batch.

My suggestion for this: Open it with friends, and drink it within a few months. The 500 cc bottle makes that easier.

Exiled by gefilte fish...that's a good one.

The other interesting questions is: How much Ben Nevis is in NFTB, Nikka Pure Black, Red, and White?


The reviewed sample is thanks to @Robert99. This is blended malt without an age statement

Nose: strong intensity thick sweet maple with baking spices of cassia, cloves, and nutmeg, like Danfield's 21 yo Canadian or an old bourbon. I really cannot smell malt at all, but what I do smell here I like. The massive wood spice balances the noticeable sweetness. Added water intensifies the nose and brings out high-pitched crystalline sugar. I love this nose with water. Score: 22/25 points

Taste: strong flavours...here, without water added, you do get tastable barley malt along with the intense wood flavours. This is a pretty chewy body, which I like. Licorice and hickory wood present in the mix as well. Added water diluted and bundled the flavours, without improvement. With water, the barley grain flavours disappear. Score: 21.5/25 points

Finish: long length. Stays intense and loses the sweet component. Water added mellows out and homogenises the flavours. Score: 21/25 points

Balance: this is a pleasant and robust drink. It has good balance, but not great refinement. Being a fan of intense flavours, I am defintely a fan of Nikka From the Barrel. Score: 21.5/25 points

Total Sequential Score: 86/100 points

Strength: very strong flavours, especially with a couple of drops of water added. Score: 23.5/25 points

Quality: high quality of all of the flavours, though it is hard to taste the barley-malt. Score: 21.5/25 points

Variety: very adequate variety of flavours, though the barley is nearly invisible. Score: 21/25 points

Harmony: not all smooth in the balance, but pretty good, and enjoyable hearty flavours. Score: 20.5/25 points

Total Non-Sequential Score: 86.5/100 points

Comment: such are the vicissitudes af whisky distribution that it has taken me four years to finally get a taste of Nikka From the Barrel. I like it. I like it a lot, because I am a fan of robust flavours. It would be fair to say that I like this one more than the score might indicate. Nikka From the Barrel is not extremely refined, but it is quite enjoyable. If I were to taste it blind I don't think that I would identify it as barley-malt whisky

Victor, good review. This is one of my favourite drams. I have two in the bunker but had thought of buying another for the Christmas eve celebration tomorrow night.There are still 5 remaining in a provincial MLCC store approx 35 miles from here. Quite expensive here at $65 plus 13% tax for a blend in a 500ml bottle(which I really like BTW as it seems so understated and laboratory like, but I agree that it doesn't pour well. But worth every penny IMHO. Smaller pours from a smaller bottle but they give me that special feel.

@JasonHambrey, @Nozinan, @Jonesz, @Alexsweden: gentlemen, thanks for your comments and participation.

My mistake about not knowing that Nikka From The Barrel is a blend of malt and 'grain' whiskies. That brings up another interesting question with regard to the flavours encountered. I really do not taste wheat whisky in this blend, so I suspect that the 'grain whisky' is likely all, or nearly all, from corn.

We don't see many blended Scotches at 51.4% abv, so it is also interesting that apparently the 'grain whisky' in Nikka From The Barrel was blended in at cask strength. I heard John Glaser speak once and he reported that ALL Scottish grain whiskies are distilled at above 90% abv before being diluted down, usually to 40% abv. The thick viscous body of Nikka From The Barrel is easily understood if they are using undiluted corn whisky as one of the principal components.


This has to be something for the Seven Samurai. I straight shooter, but a good one. Brings old Western movies to my mind so naturally, made me think of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. What were those samurais drinking?

Probably a booze like this: heavy on the taste, characteristic and straight forward dram. Fresh whisky with powerful notes, good cask strength stuff.

Nose: Fresh with grape gin at the start. After that it's fruity sweet. Oranges in a juicy way and little bit of sherry feel.

Taste: Simple, yet good with cinnamon, dried fruits, raisins and little bit of peat.

Finish: Warming spices and fruits. Dry and oaky, some herbs and bitter green tea.

Balance: Consistent and juicy whisky.

Sigh, 4 1/2 years I have been reading about Nikka From the Barrel, and I've still never had any available for sale in my area. One day. Thanks, @Rantavahti, for the informative review. More reasons I want a bottle of this. I love sweet orange in any whisky.

Thanks @Frost. I will buy a whole bottle for sure, if I happen to bump into any. This is a regular item at cruise ships sailing between Finland and Sweden, so probably the next time I'm in those boats...


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.

I just bought this on Friday and tried it with my brother today. I was very disappointed by it out of the bottle. It smells and tastes like every bourbon I've ever had, no complexity at all even with time and water.

Now roughly two months after our first encounter, I have to say that the nikka has improved. The bottle is nearing empty so it its plentyfully exposed to air and it certainly had developed more character. The nose has additions of sultana, a hint of smoke and rumraisins and also the palate has improved mainly by adding sweet rumraisin and some more depth of flavour. I'm changing the marks from to 85.


Very rich and smooth drink. Starts very light with building sweetness - notes of grape (almost sweet grappa), apple, caramel, bourbon-corn sweetness on the nose and palate. Long finish with heat, but not as much as expected for this ABV.

Absolutely love the nose on this drink, it is like standing in a bourbon barrel warehouse - lots of oak and angel's share.


This is a Japanese whisky that's been on the local liquor store for a year now. A good whisky buddy 6 months ago picked it up and has been nagging me ever since to just buy it. Got the last bottle and after giving it a try, well, oh boy am I happy I did.

Nose: Very floral, rose water and other flower notes, good hints of spice (star anise, clove, nutmeg, hints of cinnamon), apple peel & hints of other citrus notes (Lemmon and lime peel), a note of well cooked bacon fat, some toasted malt notes and ginger. Note: At first the floral notes where overwhelming but with airing over 30 minutes it opens up to one of the most fantastic whiskies that has ever graced my nose. Give plenty of sniffing time to this one.

Nose with Water: lighter, slightly more perfume like, more notes of ginger and toasted white bread, slightly creamier.

Palate: Dry and Perfume like, a lot of floral notes, some brown sugar sweetness, a background hint of cinnamon and clove, herbal notes of quality green and white tea, some toasted bread and ginger.

Palate with Water: The same but more mellow, if you find the cask strength to intense water it down otherwise in my opinion it's best in its undulated form.

Finish: Citrus (Lemmon peel and orange), a little salty, hints of cinnamon, some oak and a little hint of vanilla sweetness.

In my opinion this is an absolute gem. To break it down for me at least it was $62(AU) for a cask strength whisky that is absolutely fantastic. Sure it's a 500ml bottle but it's still great value especially when you consider the cost of cask strength scotch. Give this bottle a go, you will not be disappointed.


Finally,its mine to taste and nose to my heart's content.

Nose: sugar cane dipped in caramel syrup, sprinkled with fresh oak shavings then kept in a jar with a vanilla pod,take it out after a day and dust it with resin powder,serve it with custard stewed ripened banana...that's how this baby smells.F-A-B! Water releases floral and spice (nutmeg) scents. It's a little bourbon-ish

Taste: an immediate intense vanilla toffee,very much like the 'wurthers' sweets, quite dominating,but quickly gives way to a fresh candied oakiness. You can taste the one dimensional grain spirit,but the malt counterpart lifts it perfectly. The mouth feel than fades in a sweet oak finish,while water liberates a faint toasted wood.

Finish: I find,ommits its candy nature,quite dry,reminds me of white wine finish. Finish is not over long,but a very enjoyable transition from vanilla to fresh wood (lightly smoky).

I am inclined to say its perfectly 'Engineered'.its has all the essential elements in plentiful,but its not quite a character on its own. Which is fine,its dangerously delicious!


Matured from grain and malt whisky, the liquids are re-casked to marry the spirits and flavours.From there its out of the casks and into the bottles. Nice to see

  • Nose: marzipan, toasted cereal, banana and apricots, peanuts, fudge and cedar wood some grapefruit zing and a strong grain note, but not negative at all. With water grain note is out. More mandarin and orange peel than grapefruit, much more banana and apricots.

  • Pallet: rich and smooth, a real butter caramel, maple syrup and nougat, then it crisps up a bit with cereal grains, cocoa cedar from the nose and that quirky bubble-gum, also some pears lurking around. With water raspberry and nutmeg join the smorgasbord of tastes.

  • Finish: chili, some real heat then butterscotch, cedar remain till the end and vanilla ice cream. With water much more wood in the finish

It's a mystery why more whisky's aren't bottled "from the barrel" because when they are they tend to be rather good. This is no exception.

@talexander, agreed! such a shame its only a 500ml bottle!

I LOVE this whisky!


The second whisky of our evening was this award-winning blend (Best Japanese Blend, No Age Statement at the 2011 World Whiskies Awards). Whereas the bottle of Tsuru 17 was a gorgeous decanter, this one looks like it came out of a lab (they really know how to package)! This is a cask-strength blend. I am tasting this from my own bottle (rather than a sample from last night's bottle) and they have different serial numbers (my bottle is 22A56D).

The colour is dark reddish gold; the nose is very rich, with dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, brown sugar, caramel, savoury herbs and cinnamon. Water accentuates some vegetal peat notes, with more meatiness. Quite bold, complex and distinctive.

On the palate you find many of the same notes as above, plus sourdough, bandages and oak - with a heat that brings on cayenne pepper and mint. Water seems to bring it all together in an incredibly balanced harmony.

The finish is medium length but with developing smoke and bitter tea. Fascinating. While I appreciate the more gentle complexity of the Tsuru 17, this whisky is more to my tastes - bold, upfront, rich and just as complex, and I'm sure it's higher ABV has a lot to do with that. This feels like the pure essence of a Nikka blend - you get all of the elements of the Tsuru, Pure Malts, Taketsurus, Yoichis and Miyagikyos, but they all work together, not only harmoniously but at full volume. For me, this one is a benchmark.

I will hint that they were all very good - but this Nikka From The Barrel is my favourite. Stay tuned in the coming days for the others!

@ talexander - EASTERN PROMISE, Discovering Japan - wow, a benchmark @ 95! I hope the four remaining expressions can live up to the legend. Bring it on.


Nikka From the Barrel is a Japanese blended whisky (grain whisky, and malts from Nikka's Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries). As a rule, I don't enjoy blends, but this expression was a pleasant surprise. The ABV is high (51.4%) and I added water more liberally than I usually would, but the dram is quite drinkable straight 'from the bottle.'

ABV: 54.1%

Appearance: Deep Amber. Viscous, lazy legs.

Nose: raisins, caramel, sherry, citrus (orange/lemon), and vanilla. After adding water: cinnamon, floral essences, and hints of smoke.

Palate: thick, viscous mouthfeel. Caramel/brown sugar sweetness, spices, vanilla, and a subtle peatiness.

Finish: Long, pleasant: fruity-oak, vanilla, and a lingering warmth (kick in the pants) from the grain whisky.

Final notes: The whisky comes in an unusual, 500 ml square bottle: I like the distinctive packaging, but the first dram was slightly difficult to pour without spillage (I rested the base of the spout on the lip of my Glencairn glass while pouring: a small drop of precious fluid escaped down the outside of the glass, which I was able to capture with a finger and enjoy). There was a strong alcohol aroma when first poured, so I let the dram sit for five minutes to open up before nosing. The grain whisky component was well married to the malts and provided an interesting 'kick' to the blend. I really enjoyed this dram; well suited for sipping on a winter’s night.


Thank you! I have a bottle but I have yet to open it. I love blends, actually (love Hibiki!) so I'm looking forward to this.


The Nikka whisky is produced in two distilleries: Yoichi and Miyagikyo. Contrary to Scottish tradition, blends in Japan are composed of the whiskies produced by own distilleries, not different distilleries. Nikka Whisky from the Barrel is exactly that, a cask strength whisky. Although it is a marriage of single malt and grain whisky, bottled batch after batch after batch at the same strength. The grain whisky comes from Miyagikyo, the malt whisky from Yoichi. The marriage took place in first fill bourbon casks.

The nose is very alcoholic at first, but then develops into nice aromas from wild flowers, juicy citrus fruit, orange zest and apricots. I am inclined to think this is a sherry cask, but research contradicts that. Very spicy as well. Light hints of bourbon. Toffee, vanilla and raisins. Even a hint of smoke. Nutroma, the condensed milk for your coffee! This is quite interesting.

It is very creamy with a full body. Almost syrupy. Honeysweet and spicy. Caramel, vanilla and citrus fruit again. A mixed bag of peppers and some cinnamon. Makes me all warm inside.

The long finish gives both juicy fruit and coconut as well as a wonderful smokiness from the oak, but the mouth is left completely dry.

What a pleasant surprise indeed. A great Japanese whisky!

I wouldn't be surprised as all.... Japanese Whiskies are in a class of their own. I've been drinking this consistently for a year now and it never fails to deliver and in fact still offers hidden treasures.

Japanese Whisky I find to be cleaner and fresher in contrast to most Scotch, neither being better or worse just my preferences.


It's not every day you come across a cask-strength blended whisky of any sort, let alone one from Japan. I picked this up on a whim, and it turns out I'm glad I did.

Nose: at full strength, somewhat sweet and sherried. An oaky tang is present, with a touch of licorice. Water seems to emphasize the wood aromas.

Taste: at full strength, it is both strong and supple. It glides over the tongue, prickling as it goes, unfolding with malty sweetness and a touch of smoke. There is a sweetness here that is unique to the Yoichi single malt, like a mild ginger flavour embedded in the malt. Add some water and the malt flavour expands, as does the peaty flourish. Again I am reminded of Yoichi. Whatever grains were used do not make much of an impression amidst such flavourful malt. It has the slippery smoothness of a blend but the flavour impact of a good malt.

Finish: leaves echoes of peat in the mouth. This is by no means a peaty whisky but the peat is certainly there if you look for it.

Balance: I look at this as an easier-drinking and more affordable alternative to Yoichi 10 year old. It is pleasant all around, and packs a big flavour punch. Great whisky.

Given the Japanese culture and tradition I can agree that they would excel at the art of whisky making. No less than perfection for a product that reaches so many peoples taste buds as they represent their country

I've thought about acquiring this one. I've read good reviews including this one. I might have to get this one while Im out next time. Good review


I chanced upon this little gem whilst dashing around London late last week.. What a great find..

Understated and refined are the first things that spring to mind.. I'm a lover of Hibiki 12 and 17yo but this Cask Strength blend surpasses these beauties..

Alluring ruby red colour with aromas of bespoke perfume, red-currants, jasmine, vanilla, nutmeg, tobacco, marzipan and hints of fresh herbs and lime.

The arrival is cinnamon, vanilla, chili-nutmeg and strawberries with a dusted cocoa punch, finishing off with a Ginger, flinty, smoked tobacco and light sulphur smoulder. Exquisite.

Try with and without water for a variety of flavours, an absolute must in any Whisky lovers cabinet.

Picked up a bottle of this yesterday. Reminds me of Yoichi 10 year old: lively, fruity, with a good note of peat.

I will try it for sure. Nice review!


Nikka From the Barrel is a blend of grain whisky from Miyagikyo and malt whisky from Yoichi. Three more Japanese whiskies to go in this little series.

Nikka ‘From the barrel’ (51,4%, OB 2010, 50cl)

Nose: fruity and floral, with apricot, banana and pineapple aromas, oranges and some fresh oak. Honey. Almonds. Cinnamon sticks and vanilla, a little pepper as well. A balanced sherry nose. Mouth: creamy with plenty of punch at the same time. The grains are maybe a little too sharp around the edges, but the rest is very tasty. Malt and nougat. Caramelized sugar. Fresh lemon. Fruit tea. Drier towards the end, with spices like nutmeg. Even a hint of peat? Finish: quite long, malty and spicy with a lightly bitter edge.

This is a well-made, intense whisky that’s not easy to recognize as a blend. Great value for money.

Thx for the nice reviews guys.

But I am a bit confused @galg. You gave it 95 points and seemed to be really stunned by this dram.

I was going to order the Nikka All Malt as Japanese entry. Then I saw this one and checked the reviews here. Seems to be the better choice. Was anyone able to compare them? I heard the All Malt has some tobacco, ash and smoke on the nose which this one don't offer.

Next question is concerning the production process: The All Malt is a column/patent/coffey still whisky. How is the Nikka from the Barrel produced?

@galg: connosr.com/reviews/nikka/…

95 points and seems you quite liked it :)

I am going to order it now. Seems to be great value for money.

producing process: @WhiskyNotes already wrote it. This one is a blend of grain+malt. The All Malt is just grain whisky. Confusing name then :D

From the official homepage:

Matured malt whisky and grain whisky are blended and then re-casked (a process known as "marriage") to create a rich harmony of distinctly different whiskies. "From the Barrel" is bottled directly from re-casked barrels of whisky and features almost the same alcohol percentage. At 51.4% alcohol content, this whisky possesses a distinctive personality characterized by solidity, depth of taste and a richly expanding aroma.


Nikka From the Barrel is a blend of grain whisky from Miyagikyo and malt whisky from Yoichi. Three more Japanese whiskies to go in this little series.

Nikka ‘From the barrel’ (51,4%, OB 2010, 50cl)

Nose: fruity and floral, with apricot, banana and pineapple aromas, oranges and some fresh oak. Honey. Almonds. Cinnamon sticks and vanilla, a little pepper as well. A balanced sherry nose. Mouth: creamy with plenty of punch at the same time. The grains are maybe a little too sharp around the edges, but the rest is very tasty. Malt and nougat. Caramelized sugar. Fresh lemon. Fruit tea. Drier towards the end, with spices like nutmeg. Even a hint of peat? Finish: quite long, malty and spicy with a lightly bitter edge.

This is a well-made, intense whisky that’s not easy to recognize as a blend. Great value for money.


What a wonderful Japanese Whisky. I must say I'm hooked on this one.

Nose: There is a bit of floral with more of a citrus peel nose. Dominant vanilla extract

Taste: There is the vanilla. Toffee and Caramel.

Finish: Rich and Creamy.

This is indeed a fantastic Whisky, proving that blends can be as good if not better than many single malts. In addition, this is usually available at an extremely reasonable price.


this great value whisky represents Japan in our first world whisky tasting. Its really worth trying and at £25 for a 50cl bottle is relatively cheap.

Nose: Quite shy at first, but the odd sherry note mingles with typically Japanese resin and mushroom. Traces of damp Autumn leaves. Savoury rather than sweet.

Palate: exquisite! without water it's a heady mix of soft toffee and sharp and challenging chile spice. With water there are some softer mintier and lime sherbet notes. The spices fight back late on.

Finish: warm, soft, rich and toffeed, with some spice to keep it in shape. Great whisky making.

I agree, a really good intro. Even though its a blend it still has the sharp complexity characteristic of Japanese malts (but without the mental characteristics of many). Dave Broom reviewed it on the what does john know blog and gave it 94/100 I think

This one is already on my radar. I've never tasted any Japanese malt and Nikka from the Barrel, from what I've read, seems to be the perfect introductory whisky to the Japanese world of malts.


Nose: An orgy of all things wonderful. It’s not a whisky, it’s a perfume. I swear i could be sniffing it all day long, and had i wore some on myself instead of perfume, the ladies would appreciate it . Balsamic, perfume,vanilla , spice, cloves. Some flower blossom and a good measure of perfumed and spicy wood. Dear god. this is divine!

Palate: Big bodied with amazing entry and ooomph. Starting on sweet burnt sugar, then off with a splash of wooden spiciness that makes you want to cry with joy. Then comes the vanilla and honey drops, very little smoke also which complements all. Man o man. this is a thing of beauty. no less. I am in tears of joy here.

Finish : Longggggg…. oak, fruit, and spices. and you know what else? banana.

In one word: Greatness. two words: I want! This has shot itself to the #1 spot in my wish list. and mind you, that list was rather long. Kudos to Nikka. They created a perfect dram, and what a bang for the buck. amazing. no less. ACE!

and this is a BLEND!

I could have had a bottle some months ago, but the shopkeep talked me out of it and into something else. I don't regret the something else (whatever it was, I'm happy with every whisky I purchased that trip), but I do now regret not coming home with this one! Nicely reviewed, @galg!

@dbk, indeed. next time get this little wonder (comes in 0.5 liter) and let me know how u liked it ;)

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