Nikka Miyagikyo Malty & Soft Single Malt Japanese Whisky (500ml)
  • Discontinued
  • Reduced

Nikka Miyagikyo Malty & Soft Single Malt Japanese Whisky (500ml)

Reduced from $350.00
$199. 99
$2399.88 Dozen
ABV: 55%

One of three high-strength editions labelled as "Distillery Limited" and originally available via the distillery only. Readers may remember Miyagikyo making headlines in September 2015 when they discontinued their entire range due to stock shortages caused by an unprecedented boom in Japanese whisky. The label returned to market with a single NAS expression. Since then it's been the only official release that's readily available - anything else comes from the secondary market or the distillery direct. If you've been wanting to up the ante and get closer to the 'real' taste of 100% Japanese whisky with no imported additives, this is a perfect opportunity. The 'Key Malts' series lands at a uniform 55% which is considered close enough to cask strength. At the time of writing, prices vary dramatically. In Australia, it's not unusual to pay $350 plus (if you can find them).

Miyagikyo is Nikka’s second distillery, opening in 1969. Some commentators still refer to it as Sendai, which was its name before Asahi took control of Nikka in 2001. Founder, Masataka Taketsuru's intention was to expand the variety of malts available for his blends, so from the outset, the aim was to build the polar opposite of Yoichi. He sited Miyagikyo partly because the Hirosegawa and Nikkagawa rivers deliver a high-quality water supply. That combined with Miyagikyo’s different natural environment and the use of steam heat distillation, as opposed to coal and direct flame, results in a malt with a relatively mild and fruity character compared to the more powerful style of its sister distillery. Pot stills at Miyagikyo are considerably bigger too, and include boil balls along with an upward sloping lyne arm. This all contributes to a considerable amount of copper contact, stripping out the heavier compounds and leaving a delicate style of newmake. Finally, more unpeated and lightly peated barley is utilised at Miyagikyo, with the majority imported from Scotland. Although it's not stated, 'Malty & Soft' is likely to be a mix of refill Bourbon and refill sherry casked whiskies allowing the fruity distillate to take centre stage.

Other reviews... Never had the ‘Malty & Soft’ before, neither at 12 or with NAS. Colour: pale gold. Nose: rather in the style of the regular NAS, just even greener and almost acidic. I find it profound, and always love these very sharp, very well chiselled styles. Lemon and clay infused in strong green tea. Or there, old stone teapot. With water: lovely. Barley, clean mud, pomelos juice. Yes you may squeeze pomelos. Mouth (neat): really sharp, starting lemony, with green oranges as well, and then more sweet barley (syrup) and a slightly prickly pepper – which I do not hate at all (?) With water: gets a tad rounder and fruitier (peaches) but also grassier. Same Sauvignony kind of profile. Finish: long and millimetric, which is no oxymoron. A narrow malt that’s excellent. Comments: at times, there are echoes of Clynelish. 87 points -