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This is the new Miyagikyo no age-statement single malt released by Nikka on 1 September 2015 as a result of the radical restructuring of their whisky portfolio due to drastically depleted stocks. This bottling has replaced the entire Miyagikyo core range, i.e. the 10-, 12- and 15-year old expressions. (Nikka’s other distillery, Yoichi, faces exactly the same situation.) This review refers to a bottle that I picked up while on holiday in Japan last October.
The nose is light and fruity. It starts off with notes of vanilla and fudge, followed by apricots and a hint of lemons.
The palate is light-bodied and a tad spicy. Lemon and vanilla flavours come to the fore, followed by notes of fudge and marzipan. Sweet wood spice is omnipresent, and I got a whiff of smoke at the end.
The finish is of medium length and pleasantly warming. Lemon flavours are again very prominent, together with the ubiquitous wood spice.
This new Miyagikyo is a lightweight of a whisky and rather easy to drink. As is the case with the NAS Yoichi, I give Nikka credit for bottling this at 45% ABV, and it has got enough complexity to tempt me to revisit it from time to time. In my view, Nikka did a better job with this one than with the Yoichi, and from a price perspective there really are no complaints (less than 3,000 yen/30 US dollars for a 500ml bottle). Still, this is no match against the former core range.