Thursday, February 12, 2009
Super Nikka "Genshu"
"Super Nikka" is one of Nikka's main blended whisky brands and has been around since 1962, which was just when Japan's great post-war whisky boom was getting its fuse lit.
This is a pure malt (sometimes called "vatted malt") as opposed to the normal blended "Super Nikkas" . It is subtitled "Genshu", which is a term in common and tightly defined use in the sake world. "Genshu" is sake which has not been diluted after the fermentation process. It has a similar meaning to "cask strength" in whisky parlance. I don't know whether the usage of "genshu" here is as tightly defined as would be if it was used on sake, but 55.5 per cent alcohol is fairly strong.
Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin
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"Super Nikka Whisky (55.5%, OB, pure malt, +/-2007)
Colour: Deep gold.
Nose: More power, more oak, more vanilla and more grassy notes than in its ‘colleagues’, but that may come from the higher strength. More Bourbon-ish for sure and a tad plankish, but I’m sure water will help mucho. With water: ah yes, this one swims like a champ. More phenols, whiffs of hashish, camphor and tiger balm… And then it gets very dry and grassy, in a pleasant way. Very good spiciness (nutmeg). Mouth (neat): Good stuff but both the alcohol and the oak sort of block any other flavours that may, or may not be there. A little viscous. With water: once again, that worked, even if it does get a little ‘regular’ in style this time. Good oak, good vanilla, good green bananas and good hints of coconut liqueur (no brands!) It’s only after a good ten minutes that it starts to develop more towards ‘funny’ herbal notes. Sorrel? ;-)
Finish: Long, ‘modern’, ‘normal’. Sweet vanilla and soft tannins.
Comments: An interesting whisky that goes through unusual notes but ends up being rather, err, ‘regular’. That is to say ‘modern’. Oh well, I’m sure you see what I mean.
SGP:551 – 84 points." (Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)