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Nikka Pure Malt White

Nikka Tasting - Part IV

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

21st Feb 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Having just tasted the Pure Malt Black (which, by the way, is now available at the LCBO), we move on to the Pure Malt White (which, by the way, is not). This blended malt is mostly made up of malt distilled from barley brought in from Islay! So this should be interesting...and it is.

The colour is a medium-dark gold, a little lighter than the Black. The nose is, as you would expect, much more Islay peat smoke (and it IS Islay) - but it's not overwhelming. Heather, dry seaweed, some bandages, and very citrusy. Mint and aniseed. Water brings out more of those citrus notes; not as malty as the Black, by way of comparison.

The palate also features peat, but less smoke; more of the wet vegetal kind. You get mouth-puckering lemon and star anise. Herbs are more savoury in the palate than they are on the nose. Water ups the flavours on all fronts.

The finish is medium length - could be longer. But has some developing smoke and lemon pith. This is not as "malty" as the Black - it definitely feels more like an Islay single malt, and I am sure would pass as such in a blind taste test. But this is a delicious whisky, beautifully done. Funny, the other night I preferred the Black to the White...tonight, it is the other way around. Interesting...

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