The Yoichi distillery (余市) is located at Japan’s northern island : Hokkaido. It was founded in 1934 by Japans’ father of whisky Masataka Taketsuru . Nikka started producing whisky in 1936, releasing it’s first whisky in 1940. The Yoichi style differs from the Suntory style and is peatier, and more robust.
Nikka is making it’s official entry into the Israel market this month with the Pure Malt , Whisky From the Barrel, and Yoichi 10 being the first to be distributed (One can hope for Crazy, but not Over crazy pricing, more on that later).
I decided to celebrate this with a review of a sample I’ve long been meaning to try. a really special Nikka Yoichi aged 10 years from a single cask. This version is available only in japan, so I’m not sure you can find it easily.
As this is a monster in terms of ABV,I’ve tried it with and without water, all i can say, is if you have a gentle palate, doing this one sans H20 is not recommended
nose: lots of ABV flying on this one, then some balsamic, wood polish , damp wood,some earthy smell to it.And again, we have smoke… a bit rough
Palate: Ooh, alcohol is overwhelming , biting at the palate. burnt sugar lots of woody spices. Smoke bursts into the picture, little by little. a burst of flavours with a big alcohol bite. leather, dirty peat, soil.
Finish : Smoke, Wood, palate is somehow numb by the ABV. very long. getting cereal sweet.
Nose: more brine / balsamic and quite some citrus notes now. wood is enhanced.
Palate: Oh, the alcohol bite is gone, we can go dipper now…More fruity I get some chocolate and cocoa beans. malty sweet. much more quaffable now. spicy, but not much chilly as before.
This is not your daily dram for certain. It’s a monster waiting to be tamed with water. The sheer power on this one, is really something extraordinary. It’s big, masculine,and in your face, so if you like these kind of whiskies, you are urged to give it a try. I usualy like my monsters sans water, but here, i had to tame it a bit with water, otherwise, it would bee too much in terms of ABV% and not very pleasant on the palate.
All in all , a very unique, robust and BIG dram. if you can get your hands on this (visiting japan soon?! – think again!), then do so. (and while at it, buy me a bottle too, ok? )
Sincere thanks to Chris for this very special sample.