Japanese Whisky Review: Nikka Miyagikyo Malty & Soft

Nikka Miyagikyo Malty & Soft / 55%

Tasted neat, then with a little bottled water

Nikka’s Miyagikyo distillery was founded by Masataka Taketsuru 30 years after Yoichi in 1989, out of a desire to expand the scope of Nikka’s blending operations. Situated at the junction of two rivers, Miyagikyo operates different, larger pot stills than Yoichi, with a longer distillation time from indirect steam heating. Also, Nikka’s only 2 Coffey stills for grain distillation were relocated there in 1999.

This is the Distillery Exclusive Malty & Soft, bottled at an appreciative 55%, but only a 500ml bottle.

  • Color: amontillado sherry (0.9)
  • Nose: coastal sea spray, green apple, burnt rubber; with water, malty, apple, pear, and honeysuckle
  • Taste: grape juice, tannins, malteasers, butyric acid; seaweed, maple syrup, and bark
  • Finish: short, some sweetness

On the balance, this is a well-crafted whisky with some pleasant, but relatively boring notes. It’s a shame it’s done up as a 55% “special” project because this is really just a CS “standard expression”, a vatting that’s put together to be utterly bland.

Rating: 78/100



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Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade