Bartender’s choice: Nikka Northland

As you all know Nikka is a maker of high quality Japanese whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka was obsessed with making genuine, quality whisky for the Japanese market. Never compromising on quality, and always serious about his mission, Taketsuru utilized the ancient crafting techniques of the Japanese.

Fans of Japanese whisky all know the story of Nikka whisky, and are of course familiar with the products of Yoichi and Miyagikyo, they have probably heard of and tried almost all of Nikka´s whiskies. However there is a whisky from Nikka that almost no one has ever heard of. Today I am going to introduce that whisky to everybody, this is the Nikka Northland whisky.

Until 1989 whisky in Japan was divided into 1st grade and 2nd grade depending on its alcohol content. Nikka Northland whisky was a 2nd grade whisky having an alcohol content of 39%. It was put on the market in 1972 and had a special significance to Nikka as it was the first whisky to use the malt from the Miyagikyo distillery. However, at the time Nikka did not have enough pure malt available so they blended the whisky and added alcohol afterwards. For a company obsessed with making authentic whisky this was almost a forgery.

In spite of this, many lovers of Scotch whisky appreciated this new whisky from Nikka. Adding a little water made it wonderfully sweet and nice. While Northland´s delicate taste made it unsuited for cocktails, and while getting one´s hand on it isnt easy, there is a pretty simple way of getting an idea of how it actually tastes:

Take a mixing glass rinsed with Amaretto and pour 30ml of white wine and 10ml of Cointerau in it. After that, fill the glass with tonic water. Drink this cocktail and You’ll have a pretty good idea on how Northland tasted:)