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.