Single malt whisky - tasting notes

17 Mar 2009

Nikka Yoichi 10 years

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

There are two Nikka malt whisky distilleries: Yoichi and Miyagikyo. Yoichi produces rich, peaty and masculine malt. It is located on the Hokkaido island (Japan), with influence from the sea and cold climate, just like in Scotland. The whisky gets its aroma and body from direct heating distillation, in which the stills are heated with finely powdered natural coal (the traditional method that is hardly ever used today, even in Scotland – Springbank still uses it).

The Yoichi 10yo exists in different batches that share the same flavour profile, but there can be significant differences as well.



Nikka Yoichi 10y 45% Nikka Yoichi 10y (45%, OB, batch 08G34B)

Fresh nose on apple, apricot and pineapple candy. Orange peel. Spicy notes as well (clove, ginger). It’s immediately fruity and attractive but it shows more depth after a while. Faint notes of new leather and subtle peat. Doesn’t tolerate a lot of added water. Mouth: some vanilla. The oakiness grows stronger and the peat influence is more powerful than on the nose. Lots of sweet and roasted notes, but there’s also a salty, peaty edge towards the finish. Long aftertaste.

This Yoichi is a well made, all-round single malt, with no rough edges whatsoever (you can think of that as a positive as well as a negative remark). It contains lots of common flavours found in different types of whisky, and combines them in a balanced way. Around € 60.

Score: 83/100.

Nikka Yoichi 10 years 3 Ruben Luyten 2009-03-17
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  • Howard Weinberg

    I am drinking a 180ml bottle from batch 14G24C while overlooking the Imperial Gardens from a very nice room at the Peninsula in Tokyo, so this may affect my experience.
    A few thoughts: (1) Few hotels offer such an interesting whisky in one’s room — no need to choose from a long list to drink an interesting malt. (2) I think that a vanilla note in this batch reduces the complexity of the nose reported in this note. (3) All the flavors come through in the taste and the finish is slightly short but very well defined and sufficiently complex to require another trial in short order.

  • Eddie Cheng

    Lucky you…I stayed at the St, Regis during Christmas and they only have Hibiki 17 and Old Parr in the mini bar. btw I like Yoichi 10 too … 15 & 20 are very different animal, but 10 is NOT inferior to them at all… even though much cheaper.

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WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.