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Well, Nikka has recently taken down their aged single malts across the board. This comes as Suntory also makes moves towards NAS releases. Seems the whole country is short on aged stock these days, and that’s sad news for those of us who love a good Japanese whisky. Today we’ve got a 12 year old Yoichi. While it has shot way up in price, it still can be found out there, but soon even a humble 12 year old like this will only be available at auctions, and for exorbitant prices no doubt. That being so; now’s a good time to appreciate the Japanese whiskies we’ve already got.
Nose: Oranges, apples, raisins, seared honey, grass, oak, woodspice, caramel, spice, and ginger. Layers of fruit mingle well with oak and spice.
Palate: Medium-bodied and fruity. Apples, honey, cinnamon, melon, pears, apricots, and peaches. Sounds sweet but it’s not. There’s also caramel, smoke, licorice, and earth.
Finish: Long finish. It gets a touch more bitter here. Sherry, stewed fruit, gooseberries, rhubarb, caramel, soy sauce, damp leaves, smoke, baking spices, woodspice, chili pepper, leather, and oak.
Thoughts: Compared to its 15 year old brother, this boasts more intensity and kick, and the finish is longer. But it’s also a tad less refined. By its own regard, though, I do like the 12. However it’s a bit of a chameleon; sometimes very bold, sometimes very smooth. It drinks big for 45%, and it’s punchy. Yes, it can be sour and rough around the edges, but there’s a lot going on here. Cool, tasty stuff, but not one of Nikka’s more “accessible” whiskies.