Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nikka Black - "a mouth full of toffees"

This is Nikka's main mass market brand. The bartender in the Nikka bar told me the fellow on the label is not Henry VIII, as I had thought, but one of the first Scottish blenders. I'm afraid that a combination of his butchering of the English name and my poor Japanese means I am going to have to do a bit more research on who exactly it is. (Update: This post gives a fairly comprehensive answer to the mystery.)

Anyway, Nikka Black is as ubiquitous as Suntory Yellow Label Kakubin and is quite a lot cheaper than its rival. You can buy it in huge 2.7 litre plastic containers for less than a yen a ml. Drink it diluted 2:1 with water and ice, as most of its consumers do, and you have an exceedingly cheap alcoholic drink.

This one is destined for the Third Mizuwari Death Match (what is that?) but its actually not too bad neat. It has a sweet, caramel taste. Quite rounded. It reminded me by the end of having eaten a lot of toffee.

37 per cent
700ml - 770 yen
2.7 litre - 2,660 yen

NB. The Black bottle was redesigned in 2007 so I changed the photo. It's the same product, just different packaging. This was the old bottle.


Anonymous said...

I am wrong for posting this but here goes anyway. Back in the 1960's I lived in the Kanto Plains region for eight years. I was in the US Air Force and bought many bottles of scotch from the Yokota NCO club. Mostly I bought Johny Walker red label. After drinking it I would refill the bottle with Nikka Red and serve it to my friends. They were impresed that I always had good scotch. I had to admit that the Nikka
was just as tasty as the Johnny Walker but much cheaper. At the time the Nikka cost less than one US dollar.

Nonjatta said...

Great comment!

J-bird said...

Not a surprise! I like it, my friends like it, unbeatable price/quality ratio. Smoooth, balanced clearly a kind of toffee like taste, not in the side of traditional whisky but instead very interesting and palatable like easy drinkin´ chilean red wines compared to Bordeaux ones. This is one the few to taste if want to diverse whisky-experiences, a good step to the unbeaten whisky path...

J-san from Finland