This fall, Nikka Whisky debuted the 2022 releases from its “Nikka Discovery” series in the U.S.: Single Malt Yoichi Aromatic Yeast and Single Malt Miyagikyo Aromatic Yeast. This duo is the second release to come from the “Nikka Discovery” series, each year highlighting a different component of the whisky-making process that Nikka has practiced since 1934 and offering an inside look at the various experiments within Nikka’s two distilleries in Japan, Yoichi and Miyagikyo. 2023 will reveal the third and final release of “Nikka Discovery” in anticipation of Nikka Whisky’s 90th Anniversary in 2024.
For 2022, the “Nikka Discovery” series focuses on the variety of yeast within Nikka’s two distilleries and the unique aromas that are generated through fermentation. This pair of limited bottlings uses rare, experimental batches from Nikka’s vast “culture collection.” Single Malt Yoichi Aromatic Yeast (48% ABV) is reminiscent of ginjyo sake, expressing floral and fruity notes that have only improved after several years of maturation. Similarly, Single Malt Miyagikyo Aromatic Yeast (47% ABV) offers the fruity aroma of stone fruit such as peach and apricot, which enhances Miyagikyo’s traditional elegant and fruity style.
“We are delighted to release the second pairing from our ‘Nikka Discovery’ series,” says Emiko Kaji, Nikka Whisky International Business Development Manager. “The 2022 ‘Nikka Discovery’ expressions are the result of our vast reserve of yeast cultures and accumulated knowledge to use them, along with masterful blending. Our blenders took great care to enhance only good aromas and integrate them with the original style of each distillery.”
The Single Malt Yoichi Aromatic Yeast and Single Malt Miyagikyo Aromatic Yeast releases are non-chill filtered and each bottled at different ABVs to best enhance their unique characteristics. Each retailing at an SRP of $274.99, only 2,640 bottles of both expressions are available in the U.S. at select retailers as well as online at ReserveBar.com.
Single Malt Yoichi Aromatic Yeast – GSN’s Remarks: A soft and meek nose, with elements of banana, apple, and melon topped with a patina of burnt peat smoke. The opening tasting reveals sweetness of demerara sugar, fresh pear, and fennel gently touched with black pepper. The finish ends on a floral note with some sake-like yeastiness. In summary, a light, delicate and not too smoke forward whiskey that is quite delicate. An interesting and entirely characteristic blend for NIKKA. GSN Rating: A-
Single Malt Miyagikyo Aromatic Yeast – GSN’s Remarks: The nose is even more fruit forward than the Yoichi expression. Think stone fruit, almond, strawberry, and mincemeat pie. The peat here is used to balance the effect and give the overall spirit a darker penumbra. The flavor follows through with these characteristics, adding a peppery, woody and peaty fruit compote finish. This whisky is less subtle than the Yoichi, but nearly as elegant. The addition to the blend of heavier peated whisky adds a more toothsome approach. GSN Rating: A
For more information go to: Nikka