Japanese Whisky Week – Day 6: Miyagikyo 1989/2006 (58%, Nikka, C# 108645, Warehouse 24)

On the third day of the Japanese Whisky Week, I tried a fairly standard Miyagikyo 15yo at the reasonable strength of 45% ABV. That one turned out to be very good. Today we’ll have another look at this distillery, but this time a single cask at the more samurai strength of 58% ABV. As I said before, Miyagikyo is one of my favorites from Japan, ánd I’ve stated before that Japanese whiskies need to be cask strength to show their…ehhh strength. So here we go!

Color: Copper

Nose: Musty sherry. Malty, muddy and sweaty. Smells a bit like your local ditch on a good day. So it doesn’t stink, but smells… organic. Mushrooms. Dry. Sea spray freshness and something burnt. Probably from a Fino Sherry cask. The nose isn’t typical Miyagikyo.

Taste: Strong. Yellow jam with apricots. Chewy. Lots of wood spice. It’s a whisky that wants to be sweet, but isn’t. It’s half sweet, half dry. Sherried. Not completely a Miyagikyo profile but very nice! Clay. Slight imbalance in the finish, due to the sour wood. It’s not very woody, but still it dominates the finish.

Yes these bottles come in a blank and ugly box. Just think the box protects the bottle and the whisky from scratches and light. The good stuff is in the bottle and luckily is not in the packaging. Still I like the smoke glass bottle Nikka also uses for Ben Nevis Whiskies.

I have a feeling this one doesn’t like to breathe too much. Ok, bad example, or there goes a prejudice? It’s Miyagikyo and it’s cask strength, still it scores the same as reduced and standard or even pure malts… We’ll see what happens with the next one…

Points: 87 (yes again 87).

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