World WhiskiesIf you're looking to buy Indian whisky, Dutch Whisky, French whisky, Welsh Whisky or rare Japanese whisky online, Nicks Wine Merchants have whisky from every continent on earth assembled in one store. If you can't find it here, call us on 1800 069 295 and we'll try to track it down.
Sasanokawa Shuzo (also behind the Yamazakura whiskies) has created a charming malt and grain blend here. Located in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture, the company has been producing whisky since 1946, however their history is in sake and shochu which they've made since the late 1700s. The provenance of the liquid is not disclosed, however in true Japanese style, the producers say the flavour is aimed at "delightful surprise". Tasting note: Pale, almost water-like. Primary, floral-fruity notes with distinct ripe pear, perhaps a little vanilla too. Light to medium bodied. Spices add interest and depth – as does a light smokiness. Fruity and more succulent towards the finish. Simple but easy to like. The palate delivers more than the nose suggests. 46% Alc./Vol.
- ABV 46%
Sasanokawa Shuzo (also behind the Yamazakura whiskies) has created a charming malt and grain blend here. Located in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture, the company has been producing whisky since 1946, however their history is in sake and shochu which they've made since the late 1700s. The provenance of the liquid is not disclosed, however in true Japanese style, the producers say the flavour is aimed at "delightful surprise". Tasting note: [20ml sample] Unlike Shuzo's Black Label, this is unpeated, with some of the liquid coming finished in sherry casks. Shy opening scents develop to attractive fruity, dried pear and apple over light vanilla. Medium weight with a decent injection of malt and spice through the mid palate. Hints of dried fruits, with warming spices adding zest to the finish. Seems more complex and substantial than its smokey sibling. 43% Alc./Vol.
- ABV 43%
Distilled from a mash of 20% malted barley and 80% corn sourced from three distilleries on Japan’s largest and busiest whisky island, Honshu (home to eight operating distilleries). Maturation took place in American white oak barrels. 'Fuyu' means winter in Japanese. Tasting note: Deep amber gold. Cocoa, light cinnamon, vanilla and hints of ripe peaches follow in a soft, medium bodied whisky offering flavours of gobstopper, ginger and late fruit cake. Ends crisp and moreish with buttery vanillan oak through the aftertaste. A youthful, Bourbonesque blend with satisfying sweet/dry balance. 40% Alc./Vol.
- ABV 40%
Reduced from $135.00
Created by Ichiro Akuto at his Chichibu Distillery (est. 2004) using both local and imported whiskies, Ichiro's intention here is to offer a quality Japanese experience that's also affordable. His own malt forms the base, combined with 4-8 year old whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the US. The composition is vatted in two 5000-litre wooden barrels built by renowned French cooper, Taransaud. Non chill filtration and a decent ABV contribute added depth and mouthfeel resulting in a quintessential example of Japanese blending skill that's also food-friendly.
- ABV 46%
Tasting note: [15ml sample] Pale straw / gold colour with a faint green blush. Moderate aromas of toasty cereals, raisin toast with hints of fruits, wafer biscuit and cream. Soft warm entry. Mid palate bursts with tingly spices, fruit and cereals with nuances of smokiness. Finishes clean, juicy and tangy. 46% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered with no colouring added.Other reviews... Delicate aromas of chamomile, marigolds, gardenias, peaches, apples, and vanilla undergirded by biscuity cereal notes transition seamlessly to an elegant palate of vanilla, green apples, malted milk balls, and fresh herbs. The finish has gentle spice that fades into warm chocolate with continuing creamy grain. A blend of Japanese and other whiskies that responds well to water.
87 points - whiskyadvocate.com, reviewed by: Susannah Skiver Barton (Fall 2017)
A new release from Eigashima Shuzo, whose better known whiskies are marketed under the "White Oak" label.
- ABV 40.3%
The Kamitaka brand (meaning "God Hawk") is based on the tale of a Japanese sea captain who witnessed a hawk flying around their vessel's mast during a dangerous mission, a symbol which gave hope to his crewmen. Otherwise, very little information is currently available regarding this whisky. 40.3% Alc./Vol.
Reduced from $150.00
- ABV 50%
Officially discontinued."Sales of this whisky have been so strong that Kirin now says that it will run out of stock following its upcoming late-March shipments to suppliers. The company has stated that this will not be a temporary hiatus, but an official retiring of the product due to a lack of raw materials, so if you’re keen to score a bottle, now is the time... Sales of the more expensive substitute will continue as normal." -soranews24.com A Japanese exclusive, this high ABV bottling from Kirin was launched in March 2016. The blend features medium and heavy-type grain whiskies combined with a minor peated malt component. Chief blender, Jota Tanaka also decided to bottle this non-chill filtered and at 50%. According to Nonjatta, "The new ‘Fujisanroku 50°C’ is the first generally and permanently available, entry-level NC Japanese blended whisky that is not chill-filtered. A bold move but one that, we are sure, will pay off. It sure does for us drinkers… the first sip you take, you know!" Almost unknown outside of Japan, Fuji Sanroku which means "at the foot of Mount Fuji", is produced in Fuji Gotemba distillery, opened in 1973 and owned by the Kirin Group. As iconic locations go, it's hard to beat this distillery's picturesque environ. The water source is rain and melted snow from the top of Mount Fuji. Maturation typically takes place in x-Bourbon barrels. While the focus is on grain whisky, a quantity of malt whisky is also produced and marketed under various labels (Gotemba & Sanroku), as well as making up a component of the Kirin blended whiskies. Tasting note: Brilliant deep gold. Opening sniffs suggest apple strudel, stewed pear, bubble gum and vanilla. Air contact adds hints of ripe corn / mixed grains. Understated on entry building to a juicy, vibrant, bourbonesque profile with creamy flavours of toffee apple, salted corn cob and pepper. Concludes semi-sweet, spicy but well balanced with orchard fruits, gobstopper and lingering creaminess. 50% Alc./Vol. Other reviews... A blend not afraid to make a statement and does so boldly. A sheer joy!
This is likely to be our last shipment, so get it while you can.
93 points - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2017 ...Jota Tanaka, Kirin’s chief blender, utilizes all the versatility of the complex production at Fuji Gotemba Distillery to create this truly superb non-chill filtered whisky. The dark vanilla, toffee brittle, macadamia nuts, heady incense, and singed oak have instant appeal. Sweet popcorn smothered in milk chocolate rotates through cherry, damson, and red apple, settling on a palate of toffee apple spiked with pepper and licorice. Tingling spices on a drying finish. 92 points
- whiskyadvocate.com, reviewed by: Jonny McCormick (Fall 2017)
- ABV 50%
Gold Medal - World Whisky Awards 2018.Following the massively successful 'Fuji Sanroku Tarujuku 50', comes this "Signature Blend", also one of the few Japanese whiskies to be bottled non chill filtered and at high strength - 50% ABV. Launched in Japan earlier in 2018 as a premium label, it was available at the Fuji Gotemba Distillery or via Kirin's Drinx webstore exclusively. Along with Asahi, Kirin has been a late comer to the whisky scene. Fuji Gotemba was opened in 1973 as a joint venture between Seagrams and Chivas Brothers and didn't release a whisky until 2004. While Suntory and Nikka continue to dominate, Kirin has demonstrated a commitment to high quality from the get-go. Chief blender, Jota Tanaka, makes the most of a sophisticated facility, recently winning World's Best Grain at the World Whisky Awards, followed by a Gold Medal for the Signature Edition in 2018. A small quantity has landed in Australia. This has been summed up as a robust, fruity malt with a whisper of smoke. Other reviews... Fuji-Gotemba Distillery’s talent for grain whisky is evident here, with a nose of waxy green leaves, whole peppercorn, and fleeting glimpses of lemon peel, lime zest, and white peach amid the airy, floral top notes. It has a serene, calming quality to it. Spicy pepper, orange peel, mouth-coating vanilla, creamy toffee, and crunchy apple, with a clean finish, like orange flesh laid out on hot stones. 90 points - whiskyadvocate.com, reviewed by: Jonny McCormick.
91 91Hokkaido, JAPAN$89.99 Bottle
- ABV 51.4%
One of the most impressive (and affordable) Japanese whiskies to have ever hit the Australian market. "I have been drinking this for a very long time - and still can't remember a bottle that's ever let me down." - Jim Murray.Today, most of the malt whisky produced in Japan is for blending but Japanese distillers generally don't trade casks in the manner that Scottish distillers do. Consequently, it's up to each distillery to produce a diversity of styles that will form the base components of 'house blends' that offer unique and complex flavour profiles.
Nikka Straight from the barrel is no exception. Composed of blended single malts from both the Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries along with an element of grain whisky that's all matured in first-fill bourbon casks. Good reviews are not hard to come by, with web based whisky enthusiasts describing this as an excellent value Japanese blend and all round great introduction to the Nikka style. Jim Murray's also a fan, stating "I have been drinking this for a very long time - and still can't remember a bottle that's ever let me down."
Tasting note: [Batch 24J12B] Deep gold / bright copper appearance. The aroma is pristinely clean and reminiscent of some class sherry bottlings, there's suggestions of biscuity malt, vanilla and juicy dried fruits. At the same time it frustrates - even after extended time in the glass it’s shy to reveal better definition. In the mouth, soft, gentle spices unfold a blanket of sweet, nutty, chewy malt and dried fruit flavours. A hint of smoke in here too? Clean, slightly tingly mouth feel as the spices increase, but overall this shows good balance at +50%. Finishes as it began - with the spices more settled and drying as the delicate malt lingers through the aftertaste. 51.4% Alc./Vol.
Previous tastings... [Batch 04J080] Deep, bright gold appearance. Aromas include toasty cereals, straw, cocoa, pear and spices beautifully intertwined. A huge, spicy entry is semi sweet with stewed pear, dried apricot and a chewy texture. Very well balanced at cask strength. Drying pear, spice and vanilla aftertaste. In all a little bit like a rye heavy Bourbon. Certainly one of the most impressive and affordable Japanese whiskies to arrive on the Australian market. 51.4% 94 points
Other Reviews...A high-strength blend that takes no prisoners. The color is full gold and the first thing that hits the nose is a complex mix of restrained smoke (sandalwood, cigar), fennel, and celery before semi-dried tropical fruits and orange peel take over. The palate also shows some of that mango character, but also crisp oak and a burst of sweet powdered spices on the finish. A malt lover’s blend. 92 points - David Broom - Malt Advocate
Direct Import ReducedJAPAN
Reduced from $120.00
- ABV 43%
World Whisky Awards Category Winner for Best Japanese Blend in 2015.A long time best seller for Nikka and one of the company's classic brands, but almost never seen in Australia, the Super Nikka was introduced to the market in 1962. Despite being classified as a blend, it's reported to contain a high proportion of malt from the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. Other reviews... Beautiful whisky which just sings a lilting malty refrain.
90.5 points - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2013 Quite youthful aromas of citrus fruit, sherry wood spices and a touch of smoke. The palate is mellow with some citrus and plenty of sherry wood spices. Quite balanced with a good citrus complexity and a slightly smoky finish. Water brings out a floral orange Muscat note, whilst on the palate it brings out some vanilla nuances. - World Whisky Awards Category Winner 2015 "Opulent and gently peaty with the essence of aged sherry casks, this whisky goes down smooth with a well-rounded and balanced flavor" - ISC 2008 Gold Medal winner.
- ABV 43%
The kind of masterful blend that puts many a Scot to shame.In an industry where brands can (and often do) combine malts from Scotland, Master Blender, Tadashi Sakuma forgoes input from the Nikka owned Ben Nevis distillery, creating an assemblage that honours all that's great about Japanese blends – or blended whisky full stop. Deftly balancing Miyagikyo (light & elegant) and Yoichi (more robust) pot still malts with a judicious splash of sweet Coffey grain, from the very first sniff, you can tell you're onto something special. Launched in 2014 as a national exclusive to celebrate Nikka’s 80th anniversary, as one of the few affordable Japanese age statements to emerge in years, this will grab the attention of drinkers as much as collectors, offering a compelling alternative to Suntory's equivalent: If you buy Hibiki 12 year old at $700 but ignore this, frankly, we don’t know what to say. Awarded Best Japanese Blended Whisky 12 Years and Under in 2015 and Best Blended 12 Year old at the 2016 World Whisky Awards, following through in 2017 with a Gold Award at the International Spirits Challenge, this superb effort comes suitably presented in a heavy-set decanter topped by a large wooden stopper. The asymmetrical bottle inspired by the neck of a “Kimono” is decorated with the same emblem designed by Masataka Taketsuru for his very first Nikka whisky. Tasting note: Deep polished brass. Opening sniffs are fresh, zesty, becoming floral soft with poached pear and apple, developing beeswax, cocoa and sweet spices, in particular cinnamon and nutmeg. A blend of poise and presence, marrying mature depth with the vibrancy of youth. Also surprisingly intense. Entry is medium dry, evolving with sweeter malt and honeyed fruits (apple, pear) framed by lively spices. Miyagikyo's delicate, fruity notes are wonderfully woven into the sweeter grains through the finish. Pepper warmth and oaky freshness lingers. Beautifully structured. The kind of masterful blend that puts many a Scot to shame. 43% Alc./Vol. Other reviews... This blend is soft and quite sweet, with low levels of spice and that characteristic Nikka richness behind, a classic fist in a velvet glove. Ripe, round, and generous, there’s cocoa and butterscotch, with plenty of persimmon and nutmeg. Lush, round, and balanced; a classic Japanese blend. This will become the core blend in the range. 85 points
- whiskyadvocate.com, Dave Broom (Winter 2014) ...most importantly, the quality is superb. We got an advance sample and it really is a great sipping whisky. On the nose, the presence of the Coffey grain is immediately clear (with notes of roast coconut flakes and banana leaves), but it’s balanced with orchard fruits (green apples and pears) supplied by the Miyagikyo malt and a slight whiff of peat from the Yoichi malt. On the palate (it’s bottled at 43% abv, by the way), you get annin dofu, orchard fruits again, barley sugar and a touch of white pepper. The finish is medium-long on Oreo cookies and shortbread with a bit of grapefruit peel and some spice thrown in the mix. - nonjatta.com Awarded Best Japanese Blended Whisky 12 Years and Under 2015 and Best Blended 12 Year old 2016 at the World Whisky Awards. Gold International Spirits Challenge 2017