Friday, May 7, 2010
Pure Malt White, Product of Nikka
Review by Nonjatta contributor - Dramtastic
Pure Malt White, Product of Nikka, 43 per cent alcohol.
This whisky is a vatting of Yoichi malt and an Islay whisky.
Nose: There is a good whiff of peat as well as walnuts, wet moss, leather, sea spray, pepper, wood stain (after breathing for a while) and nectarines. After some time, there is a hint of lemon.
Palate: Nicely oily (nut oil). The peat comes through big time. Also charcoal, pepper and a slight bitterness. The second sip adds walnuts, creamy macadamia and a kind of minted toffee to the picture.
Finish: Medium length with earthy/vegetal peat dominating; macadamia, spice and mint. Slightly drying.
General comment: This is ever so moreish and a real bargain. One for lovers of peaty whisky.
Nonjatta note: This is one of three pure or vatted malts marketed by Nikka under one word colour titles - Red, Black and White. The range has been around a surprisingly long time. I think it was first put out in 1987. The "Red" is mainly made up of whisky from Miyagikyou distillery. The "Black" is mainly based on whisky from Yoichi. This one, the white, is a bit different: it is based on whisky from Islay in Scotland. It also has a good quantity of whisky from Yoichi in the mix.
The mystery, of course, is which Islay distillery the Scottish portion came from? I am assuming it is just one distillery. A post on syakkindaimaou.usukeba.com had a shot in the dark at the question a couple of years ago: Caol Ila. Two distilleries were ruled out because they were either owned by Suntory or involved in partnerships with Suntory (Bowmore and Laphroaig) and others were eliminated because they were not known for the style of peaty whisky evident in this vatting. To be honest, I am not sure the logic quite takes us all the way to Caol Ila's door but it is an interesting guess anyway.