If you have seen a bottle of Nikka at retail then it’s fairly likely it will have been the distinctive From The Barrel example with its diminutive bottle.

This has long been the face of Nikka whisky in the West and the blend is comprised of single malt whisky from its Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries. The backbone remains a grain whisky or could that be a coffey grain whisky from either Tochigi or Miyagikyo.

Bottled at a much higher strength than you’d normally associate with a blended whisky. It does exactly what it says on the tin (or in this case the test tube) and gives us a strong delivery of what Nikka and whisky should stand for. I wonder what the father of Japanese whisky and Nikka, Masataka Taketsuru would make of the whisky world today? 

Distilleries: Miyagikyo, Yoichi, Tochigi or Miyagikyo
Approx £32 (50cl)

Nikka From the Barrel – review

Colour: fake tan

On the nose: lots of vanilla and polished wood. Joined by green apples, pepper corns, all spice, pencil shavings, a worn leather wallet and orange pips.

In the mouth: a thick luscious quality that is more full bodied that the previous Nikka sample. More pepper, treacle resting in a tin, raisins and more leather rounded off with a slight sherry influence.


Well, I certainly prefer this over the very light European exclusive Nikka blended whisky. It has more body, substance and layers to discover; especially upon nosing. A marvellous example of how the Japanese blending skills have refined and perfected the dark arts of whisky blending.

Lead image from the Whisky Exchange.


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