Whiskey Review: Nikka Miyagikyo 2004— From the BarrelDistillery Exclusive

2 min readMay 23, 2020

A set of three of these 170ml “Kakubin” (角瓶 or square glass bottle) from Nikka Miyagikyo distillery came up on Mercari, and dates to a distillery exclusive offered until 2004. Later-dated distillery visitor’s center offerings show 500ml square bottles and 170ml cylinders, and also the text “From the Barrel” in English on the front upper-left label.

I will provide English translations of the Japanese text on this bottle in the image captions.

仙台工場樽出し 51度ウイスキー / Sendai Factory “From the Barrel” Whiskey
仙台工場樽出し 51度ウイスキー / Sendai Factory “From the Barrel” 51 Degrees Whiskey
(left) Raw Material Malt・Grain, Alcohol 51.4%, Capacity 170ml (center) Manufacturer Nikka Whisky Co Ltd Sendai Factory, Sendai City, Aoba Ward, 1 Nikka (right) no text — back of bottle

It is very hard to find anything around on this in Japanese language either, I only found mention of it here, which gives me my tentative date:



ENGLISH: This is the Kakubin version from three years ago.

I can’t confirm it, but I suspect that this version may include more distillate from Miyagikyo distillery than the regular Nikka “From the Barrel”.

  • Color: tawny (1.4)
  • Nose: mizunara, cigar smoke, pine needles, custard, and a little sherry
  • Taste: thick and malty, vanilla milkshake, chestnut, and leather
  • Finish: long and rich, dark chocolate

Every year Japanese whiskies are getting lighter in color, casks are getting “seasoned”, and age statements are going away as the few domestic distilleries try to keep up with global demand. It’s nice to try something from before Japanese whiskey was popular and oversold; this is a very nice, richer version of the current Nikka “From the Barrel”.

Rating: 91/100




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