Single malt whisky - tasting notes

26 May 2010

Nikka Pure Malt Black

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * Japan

Nikka produces three pure or vatted malts (officially “blended malts” now) with colour titles. Nikka Pure Malt Black mainly contains malts from the Yoichi distillery (blended with Scotch malt), Nikka Pure Malt Red is composed around Miyagikyou malt and Nikka Pure Malt White is a blend of Yoichi and Islay malts.


Nikka Pure Malt Black Nikka Pure Malt Black
(43%, OB 2009, 50cl)

Nose: a nice marriage of sweet, fruity notes (peach marmalade, oranges) and dry, earthy notes (peat, faint smoke, oak). Noticeable vanilla. Hints of flowery honey. Mouth: more peat now, even phenolic hints of gouache. Slightly peppery. Ripe fruits and a bit of toffee. Salty hints of liquorice in the very end. Finish: spices, sweet cocoa and smoke.

A good all-rounder with a firm character and balanced peat (I’ve compared Yoichi to Highland Park before…). Around € 30. Good value for money, even with the smaller bottles (50cl).

Score: 82/100

Nikka Pure Malt Black 3 Ruben Luyten 2010-05-26
  • aw

    I thought the nose was very impressive, but it was underwhelming on the palate. Maybe an abv of 46% would have helped? For Europe, Nikka is surely a specialist product, so am surprised at abvs of 40 and 43.

    BTW: started in on my MoM samples. Glenfarclas 1971 Family Cask – sublime! Octomore Orpheus – nice nose when neat but at 61% I had to add water, after which it nosed and tasted like creosote. Yuck!

  • Ruben

    Indeed, the palate is where it loses most of its points. On the other hand, as an entry level malt this is very good. Perfect if you’re starting to discover Japanese whisky.

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  • Michel

    nice whiskey, nice price

  • Andrea Franco

    Aperto ieri. Mi piace molto, pungente, brusco, finale corto, ma con un ritorno improvviso piuttosto dolce. Unu buon whisky

  • Dzid

    Nothing special, but… I love this one. Seems to be simple at the
    first sip to open up with every next. Too complex or me (positively) to
    name all the tastes and smells I can feel (I blame the lack of proper
    tasting training). In short: amazing for a blend. Or rather the perfect
    example that blends can be great, too. 8/10 for me.

  • kenneth grattan

    where can I get this Ottawa, ontario



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