In August 2018 Nikka from the Barrel was finally released in the US! I had the good fortune of being able to grab a few bottles between the release and Whiskey Advocate naming it whiskey of the year killing the availability. SO let’s see how the whiskey of the year stacks up!
Abv: 102.8 proof
Color: A medium deep gold
Nose: Soft and sweet with floral honey, sweet pear and vanilla notes.
Taste: Floral honey and pear notes with just a bit of caramel and baking spice. Excellent mouthfeel that I have come to associate with most 100-110 proof whiskies
Finish: Short, warm and sweet with caramel and baking spice notes, almost like a bourbon
Nose: Brighter than the neat nose but with the same sweet pear and floral honey notes
Taste: Clear pear and caramel notes with some citrus as well though the spice is gone. The mouthfeel holds up well to ice
Finish: Short and sweet without the warm spice from the neat finish but with the same caramel note
Ah this was a hard one. When I nosed, tasted and mouthfelt(?) this whiskey I wanted to give it a 9 but then I was disappointed by the short and simple finish :( Still this is great whiskey, an awesome intro to higher proofs and I’m very glad I can get it in the US now! That said it wasn’t my 2018 whiskey of the year or even in my top tier of whiskies. I wouldn’t hunt for it but if you see it a retail it’s definitely worth picking up.
8 - an excellent bottle I’ll buy from time to time
On a side note this whiskey on the rocks is my wife’s favorite whiskey of all time. She prefers short finishes for some reason I have yet to understand.