A week or so ago, we discussed the Miyagikyo, but we believe it deserves a little more discussion. So here it is!

The Miyagikyo distillery is Nikka’s second distillery, founded back in 1969. With it, Nikka sought to create a slightly different type of whisky compared to whisky found in the Yoichi distillery – less aggressive and more fruity and sweet. They also believed that blending whiskies from several climates across Japan was the key to this success.

It didn’t happen overnight, however, as the company spent three years searching for an ideal location. There was little point to going more north than Yoichi, so south was deemed the only option. The company’s chosen location was amidst the Miyagi region’s rolling hills, with wonderful rivers of pure water and tranquil forests. There, Taketsuru attempted a peculiar mixture of Nikka, made in the Yoichi distillery, along with locally sourced water from the Arakawa river. The taste, you ask? A taste so fine that the Miyagikyo distillery, formerly referred to as Sendai, immediately found its home.

What’s more, the success of Miyagikyo whisky is not just a product of great blending, but it is also a result of innovative technology. Nikka’s modernization of the Miyagikyo distillery, through use of computers in their distillation process, ensures utmost precision to create a consistently pure and opulent whisky. We cannot recommended it enough!

Another remarkable factor, contributing towards the unique elegance of the Miyagikyo malt whisky is that of their pot stills, which are heated by steam, at exceptionally low temperatures, and at a slow speed; this creates a wonderfully kind and supple distillation. The pots are also cleverly designed to allow light, fruity, and floral aromas to effortlessly rise, whilst heavier bodies remain separate to the spirit itself.

We at dekantā marvel over such a thorough, well-crafted distillation process. As evidence of its brilliant quality, Spirits Editor, Kara Newman, who gave the Miyagikyo her first ever full score describes it as being “a glass [she] didn’t want to put down, and… happily drained every drop.” This is a sentiment we can’t agree with more, and we’re quite certain that this opinion will resonate through not only our whisky connoisseurs, but also our whisky beginners. The Miyagikyo is a winner on every level. Our favorites include the sherry and sweet and the fruity and rich. Their names, of course, allude to their taste. Why not pick your favorite taste and give it a try? You can always browse through our whole selection of Miyagikyo bottles!

Henry Baldvin