With the on-going boom in Japanese whisky and the resultant lack of supply of new expressions from the big producers, we’ve not heard a whole lot from legendary Japanese whisky maker, Nikka, in recent times. Their core range has been in short supply, and we haven’t seen a new whisky from them since their Apple Brandy Finish releases back in 2019.
However, this week, we’re excited to tell you that the wait for a new Nikka expression is finally over, and just like buses, two are coming along at once.
While Nikka are yet to officially announce these two new expressions, some information about these new single malts has been released online.
What we know so far is that there will be one new whisky from each of Nikka’s distilleries (Yoichi and Miyagikyo) and they will be the first releases in the company’s new “Discovery Series”. The drinks giant plans to release them as US exclusives and we’ve also heard some initial info on what the liquid is likely to be, so let’s take a look.
When we talk about whisky from Yoichi and Miyagikyo, we generally expect the former to be heavier and richer, with layers of peat smoke throughout, and the latter to be lighter with fruity and floral tones. However, for the Discovery Series, Nikka appear to have flipped the switch.
The first of the two new releases is the “Yoichi Non-Peated” and, according to the back label, it “offers a pleasant surprise that overturns the preconceived ‘Peaty’ image of Yoichi”. Instead, it aims to bring a delicate balance of “bright fruitiness and rich mouthfeel” all backed up by a distinctive smokiness imparted by coal-fired distillation.
The smokiness in this whisky is likely to be quite different from the unique flavour of peat smoke, instead bringing aromas and flavours more akin to a smouldering barbecue than anything else.
It’s a step away from the distillery’s usual characteristics and one that opens up the possibilities for a range of very different Yoichi expressions, unlike anything we have seen so far.
Much like the Yoichi, Nikka have taken a step away from the norm with their new Miyagikyo single malt. The “Miyagikyo Peated” was created using peated malt and, as stated on the back label, “offers a pleasant surprise that overturns the preconceived ‘floral and fruity’ image of Miyagikyo”.
Instead, it will bring a boldness made of rich flavours that combine with the instantly recognisable peat smoke to create a whisky that is world’s apart from what we are used to from the distillery.
As a result, this is set to be a truly intriguing release and one that we know millions around the world will be keen to try. Like the Yoichi, it opens the door for a vastly different array of bottlings from the distillery and this could change the landscape of Nikka whiskies forever, which is something that we can all get excited about.
Exclusively Available In The US
It appears that both of these whiskies will originally be US exclusives. The States has been an increasingly popular market for Japanese whisky, since the boom, and it looks like Nikka are trying to capitalize on that.
This means that the rest of the world might have to wait some time to get a bottle, if that ever happens at all. And that will likely depend on the number of bottles available and whether Nikka decide to release subsequent batches, which may or may not happen, even if these expressions are a resounding success, as expected.
The bottles will no doubt be in short supply, but we’re confident we’ll be able to get some on dekanta so make sure you’re signed up for our email newsletter to be one of the first to hear when that happens. You can sign-up by clicking here.