Whisky Connosr

Nikka Yoichi 12 Year Old

Average score from 4 reviews and 7 ratings 82

Nikka Yoichi 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Nikka Yoichi
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 45.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

Shop for this

What next?

  • Add to cabinet
  • Add to wish list
Nikka Yoichi 12 Year Old

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.

@Hunggar Very good review, very descriptive. Unfortunately for me, I only had 1 Yoichi before, the 10 yo. So the 12 yo sound very complex,that is very appealing to me, and you compare it to the 15 yo to say it has intensity and kick but how do you compare it to the 10 yo? How intense is the smoke and the peat compare to the 10 yo?

And about the price, presently in Québec, the only 15 yo from Nikka is the Miyagikyo and it goes for $175. Would you say it is that crazy where you are? I have to admit I paid $115 for the 10 yo and don't regret it at all as it is one of my favorite whisky. I paid about the same price for a Taketsuru 17 yo and the Yoichi is way more to my liking, although the Taketsuru is dangerously easy to drink. So should I start to build some inventory?

@Robert99, I appreciate the kind words. Aactually the only Yoichi whiskies I've had have been the 12 and 15 year olds. I sampled the 10 a long time ago, but couldn't tell you much about it.

As for the Maygikyou; no. I wouldn't pay even $100 for it. I've tasted and reviewed it, although I have yet to post the review. My score was 87. It was good, but definitely not $175 good. I'd stick to the Yoichi 10 or the Taketsuru 17 if you can still find them at those prices.

As for building an inventory, it may already be too late. I don't know how high prices have risen back home, but here anything from Nikka is now priced through the roof. I've tried enough of the range to know that it's good, but not worth the exorbitant prices all their aged malts will now command. But that's your call. Certainly the prices will only continue to climb with time.


Living in the U.S. has many advantages. Drinking Japanese whisky, however, is not one of them. We have four options available here: Yamazaki 12 and 18, Hibiki 12, and Hakushu 12. To get my hands on something different, I ordered the Nikka Yoichi 12 from teh whiskyexchange in the U.K. At alomst 70 GBP, this baby had quite a premium for a 12 year. Was it worth it?

The nose was a bit underwhelming. Hints of orange and a somewhat alcoholy smell. I tried hard to pick out other flavors but there kist wasn't much there.

Palate: Wow! A pleasant surprise. Orange, pinapple, hints of peach. Citrus and lots of fruit, but not sweet. Great taste. The feel was heavy and creamy. Mouth-filling and enjoyable.

Finish: The orange really comes through here. The higher ABV keeps this thing together and really fuels an enjoyable slow burn.

So was it worth it? Absolutely. I'm going to the next level an ordering the 15 year next.


Nikka picked up quite some important prizes at several competition in the last decennium. The 10 Year Old was named ‘Best of the Best’ in 2001 and the 15 Year Old got a gold medal at the 2010 International Spirits Challenge. Reason enough to try another one. I tasted this Yoichi 12 Year Old H2H to the 10 Year Old.

Just like its younger brother, this one has a very soft nose. But it is a lot fruitier. I am reminded of dried apricots, a slice of pineapple and melon. Some orange zest, too. Pinch of cloves. Cashewnuts and almonds. Leave it for a while longer and you will even get slightly burnt caramel.

It is very creamy and mouthcoating and more powerful than the 10 Year Old. Fruity, surely, but almost no smoke here. It develops beautifully in the glass and upon second sip it gets fairly sweet with a bit of earth and leather. Nicely spiced with cloves and ginger.

The finish, which is very long, remains bittersweet.

Just like the 10 Year Old, this one too is very drinkable. It is about 20 EUR more expensive, but worth it in my opinion.


Popular Nikka Yoichi whiskies