Sunday, September 16, 2007

Yoichi Single Cask 1987/2004

The world of Nikka single cask bottlings is fairly Byzantine. There are usually multiple bottlings with quite distinct characteristics bearing almost identical labels. Please see the Single Cask 1989 "New Cask" post for an exploration of the variety of distinct products there were for that year. I believe there are more than one 1987 single cask versions too, with Serge's version bottled back in 2004 while the one I can find on sale in Japan at the moment is from 2006 with a considerably lower alcohol content. So, be careful, don't assume you will definitely be getting a 91-rated-Serge-Valentin-endorsed stonker if you just reach for the nearest Nikka Single Cask 1987. Anyway, over to Serge:

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin

Visit Serge`s website, the definitive

"Nikka Yoichi 1987/2004 (Official Bottling, for France, Warehouse #15, cask #254830)
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Granted, there’s quite some oak in this one as well but the wood/peat balance is much, much better. All on coal smoke, peat smoke, cold fireplace, apple peelings, fresh walnuts and almonds, candle wax, smoked tea, newly cut grass... Well, I’m sure you get the picture. Rather perfect.
Mouth: Oh yes this is perfect. A ‘good’ peat and pepper blast right at the attack, followed by quite some fir honeydew, ginger and cloves again, notes of soft curry, paprika... And apple skins and fresh walnuts, notes of candy sugar, speculoos... It’s also a bit hot I must say, even if the ABV isn’t that high. Let’s try it with a little water (while the nose got grassier, beautifully so): we get more or less the same flavours, it just got smoother and more drinkable. Very, very well made.
Finish: long, balanced (peat, spices and candy sugar). Extremely compact and very satisfying. 90 points. Somewhat in the style of the excellent Nikka 1985 'Yoichi' (58%, OB, Warehouse #15, cask #250241) we had at the Malt Maniacs Awards last year and which I rated 91 points." (Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)

53.5 per cent (abv)
750 ml - 15,750 yen. (This is the current 1987/2006 single cask. Serge's French bottling may have had a considerably higher alcohol content than this one's 49 per cent and have tasted quite different)
A 1987/2006 single cask is available here for 64.99 Pounds Sterling.

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