We’re kicking off a series of Nikka themed reviews here at to cover the core range from the distinctive Japanese producer.

Whenever I’m abroad there is always a whisky theme to the trip, or for at least a day. Last year whilst in Lisbon, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the largest whisky collection in the world and it was overwhelming! You can read about my visit to Whisky & Co. here and my comments still ring true – if you’re in the area then do visit. Portugal is still learning to appreciate whisky so if you are in the shop I’d suggest making a purchase, as there is no fee for viewing the collection but you should give something back and support the retailer.

My own purchase was this lovely sample box set of Nikka whiskies that has been put together by the fine folks at La Masion du Whisky who are based in Paris; another worthwhile whisky destination. A solid wooden box that harbours 5 glass test tubes of various Nikka whiskies. It’s a nice piece that I can no doubt use again for convenience. First out of the box is a European exclusive in the form of the Nikka Blended Whisky created by their master blenders for a foreign market – I’m interested to see how they approach this and it makes an ideal departure point.

Given the brief, I expect the master blenders had to create a light, approachable and distinctive whisky that retained some essence of Japan. Perhaps lending itself to the cocktail dynamic which is proving increasingly popular in bars across Europe? While understandably at the same time not compromising on that Nikka quality that has proved so popular to enthusiasts across the world. I’ve certainly noticed a difference between this sample and the next test tube offering from this box of delights.

Distillery: Nikka
Strength: 40%
Price: expect to pay around £30

Nikka Blended Whisky – review

Colour: a golden harvest

On the nose: lots of vanilla and barley, lemon, French buttered toast oily, clean linen sheets, citrus and pineapple round off a mainstream nose.

In the mouth: more vanilla with sweetness in the form of peaches and cream and almonds.


Very well crafted and a light entry-level creation there isn’t much to dislike here but then again, nothing to really write home about.

Lead image from the Whisky Exchange.


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