Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
September 1 marks the start of a new chapter in Nikka history. Two new NAS expressions will replace the entire range of Yoichi and Miyagikyo single malts. There’s bound to be a bit of confusion because both distilleries already had a NAS expression and people will probably raise an eyebrow or two thinking Nikka just slapped a new label on the old bottles and raised the price. That is not the case. To reiterate, they are new expressions and they are in fact closer to the old 10yo Yoichi and Miyagikyo (in terms of flavor profile and composition) than to their resp. older NAS expressions – hence, the slightly higher price tag, although we are still talking entry-level.
A few months ago, I was offered a blind sample and asked to comment on it. I don’t remember what I said, but I do remember it was one of the best whiskies I’d had this year (and it still is). Then came the shock: it wasn’t available and never would be. It was a whisky that Sakuma-san had recreated from Takeshi Taketsuru’s last recipe, but there was just no stock to make more than a bottle or two of it. A tragedy? For sure… but the same care and creativity is being applied to developing expressions like the new Yoichi and Miyagikyo NAS.