A Tale of Two Distilleries.

Nikka From The Barrel


When looking to partake in Japanese whisky, Nikka From The Barrel is a prime choice that goes back over 30 years, despite it only more recently debuting in the states. Nikka Whisky Distilling Company designed Nikka From The Barrel as a beautiful combination of its two distilleries.

One taste of the award-winning whisky and you’re treated to the full flavor it beholds. This combination comes from the Yoichi Distillery, which was built in 1934 and the perfect place for Masataka Taketsuru, revered as the father of Japanese whisky, to create his whisky delights. Miyagikyo Distillery opened years down the road in 1969. Nikka From The Barrel incorporates the splendor of both distilleries in this phenomenal bottle.

While the name may suggest it is barrel proof, it is bottled at 51.4% to make an impact with flavor. The blend harmoniously unites both single malt and grain whiskies from both of Nikka Whisky’s distilleries, added into a variety of casks that include sherry butts, bourbon barrels, and hogsheads. This detailed process reveals itself in the impeccable flavor that is balanced, elegant, and full of depth.

Nikka From The Barrel is a tribute to the best of Japanese whisky. It brings forth the full flavors and richness from the barrels that only the blenders are permitted to sniff and then sample. Arriving in an iconic bottle, it is designed as such deliberately to represent what they call a “small block of whisky.” Within this small block are flavors so big, rich, and strong, it’s astounding to think they can be captured within the bottle’s confines.

With this colorful palette of whiskies blended together, it yields a soft and sweet taste of butterscotch with orange peel, melded with supple poached pears and various stone fruits. It’s earthy like the leaves of autumn, rich coffee, tobacco, and old oak. The complexities continue to unravel in a medley of spices from chili pepper to allspice, with a universal ginger note. Smokiness with a pinch of sea salt give the final touch a malty feel, one where the grain whisky brings the sweetness for a mouthfeel that finishes with impeccable longevity.

As you sip and indulge in these flavors, sharing them with others, you can ponder the classic taste that the Japanese have come to know and love for nearly a century yet in the United States, most whisky aficionados are just now discovering this sublime work of drinkable art.

Try it neat for the full effect though adding a touch of water to it also provides a sublime tasting experience. The thing that makes Nikka From The Barrel more accessible than the other Japanese whiskies rolling into port is that it offers an elite taste with a price tag that puts it within reach of anyone looking to explore the fine art of Japanese whisky.

Tasting Notes

Colour:  Chestnut.

Nose:  Butterscotch, orange peels, pears, stone fruit.

Taste:  Oak, pepper, coffee, smoke and sea salt.

Finish:  Long and spicy.