Nikka "Yoichi" Japanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $102)

SKU #1274203 94 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark This elegant single malt from Nikka bears a dark, vibrant gold color, with smoke and caramel aromas. On the palate, look for well-balanced notes of citrus peel, cedar and oak, and a gentle waft of smoke. An astringent sensation on the finish sets the mouth watering, leading to a full-bodied, almost oily texture. Recommended for sipping neat. (KN) Inner quote mark (2/2013)

92 points Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark Yoichi age statements are gone for now, but if the whisky stays this good, I can live with that. Black earthy peat, smoldering fires, a turned-out pocket of briny seashells, whole lime, lemon twist, sugared orange, ground ginger, and licorice. Silky smooth, with light, fruity sweetness developing into tangy Spangles, kiwi, and lime juice. The smoky peat is the weft woven through the fruit structure’s warp. The finish is insanely long: menthol, peat, and leather. (JM, Web-2016) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

Winner of the Whisky Advocate's 2016 "Japanese Whisky of the Year" award, Nikka's latest release from Yoichi distillery no longer carries an age statement, but it does bring a classically Japanese whisky profile back to the market. All the delicacy, grace, and subtle complexity is alive and well in this release, buried deep in a whisper of malt for those who take the time to let it be heard. The first sip is almost ghostly, but it's the second and third return that yield the slightest hint of peat smoke, the creamiest of malts, and the lovely roundness of sweet stone fruit. This is textbook Japanese whisky: a flavor reserved so as not to overwhelm potential food pairings like sushi or other delicate offerings, yet a wonderful depth of flavor done with the slightest of hands. Yoichi is located on Japan's Hokkaido island where such food pairings are prevalent. It's definitely a single malt with a sense of place. The gentle smell and flavor of the sea linger long on the finish. This whiskey meets all the criteria of "Japanese whisky" defined by the Japan Spirits & Liqueur Makers Association. 45% ABV.

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Price: $89.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/21/2022 | Send Email
The Yoichi distillery - built in 1934 by the famed Masataka Taketsuru, was built in the town of Yoichi in Hokkaido because of its similarities to much of Scotland. The coastal influence with its cool, humid air was a critical component for Taketsuru-san as he decided where to build his own distillery after having built Yamazaki for the Suntory company 11 year earlier. The Yoichi distillery launched its first whisky in 1940 from the Japanese built coal fired copper pot stills designed by Taketsuru several years earlier. The stills use continues today and Yoichi's style remains defined by those coal fired stills, heavy peat, and coastal influence. The 2016 non age statement version of the single malt is a breathtaking example of harmony in a glass. It is a lovely goldenrod color. The nose is briny and marked by apple juice, a fitting flavor given the Nikka company's time spent selling apple juice while the whisky matured. The peat gives a pleasant wet earth, like fine moist soil that will please any gardener. There is a sweet milk chocolate note and gentle salted nuttiness present as well. The palate is rich and round. A sweet green pepper note gives it tremendous liveliness. Sweet cereal grains round that piquant flavor out and a lengthy combination of smoke and caramelized sugar linger on the finish. It's a sexy and sultry combination that feels balanced from start to finish. When people say that Japanese whisky is marked by harmony and balance - this is what they mean. We so rarely have the opportunity to sell these in any reasonable quantity. Now is the time to stock up if you can.

By: Austin Jenkins | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/19/2022 | Send Email
Nikka malts are a consistent product. There often refined but offer a depth of flavor without compromising their delicate profile. The Yoichi malt is no exception. Scents are reminiscent of black pepper and brown sugar with some minor notes of mango; however, its in no way overpowering as often those notes can be they marry well for a mouth-watering opening. Tastes kick off with some spices; black pepper followed by minor notes of anise. From there we transition into some tropical notes: coconut, and mango come to mind right off the bat. It's gently wrapped up by some warming spices: cinnamon, cardamon, and coriander. The peat offers some textural complexity, pairing well with the front, and finish of the palate. The Yoishi is a delicious hay-yellow malt that can be enjoyed neat or however you please. I whole heartedly believe there's not much that can diminish the quality of this malt.

By: Hope Cooc | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/19/2022 | Send Email
Nikka Yoichi is exquisite! This NAS whisky is distilled in Hokkaido and reflects beautifully like a whisky from the Scottish Highlands. You get a well-balanced peat that rounds nicely on your pallet with an every-so-slightly salted seaweed towards the finish. The tropical fruit of mango and coconut are also very present and delightful.
Top Value!

By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/21/2016 | Send Email
This may be my favorite offering from Nikka, which is saying something. The whisky opens with fruit, hints of spice, and of course a lovely layer of peat. Unlike some of the other Nikkas, this whisky plays on a more fruity note, loaded with baked pears and green apple, and baking spices like cinnamon and cardamom finish it off. The peat here is more smoldering than outright smoke and adds to the complexity. The lack of age statement here in no way diminishes from how good this bottle is, working well either neat or as a highball.

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