Miyagikyo 1990 Single Cask (Nikka)

So first things first. Remember the days when every social network and even group email promised cases of Champagne, sincerest help transferring a few million out of an impoverished African country. It was with more than a little skepticism that I read a tweet offering tasting for review on single malt.

The Master of Malt website and Twitter account made some interesting reading. I got in touch and they sent me a few gems to write about. I like the site because with our currently performing Australian dollar, buying in the UK starts to make a bit more sense.

The site is filled with incredible gems, special bottlings and masterful expressions. The Nikka can be yours for one hundred and fourteen English Pounds and a mere ninety five of those shiny English Pence. There are some more affordable bottles on there too, and the real genius of their model is that they’ll sell you a 3cl sample of selected whisk(e)ys. They’ve sent me three, and this is the first.

If you’ve wondered what makes a whisky six to ten times more expensive than your average 12 yr old, like I have, this is a nice way to get your tongue in a glass.

Which is where my tongue is now, in a glass of Japanese whisky out of cask 36385. Bottled at 61%.

The nose has sweetness and vanilla, a hint of spice.

The touch to the tongue and it’s electric. The high proof, coupled with what is a typically maniacal focus on making things in a way that is not so much perfect, but better than perfect makes this an utterly intoxicating experience.

The sweetness of the nose lingers, manifesting as honey. You can almost taste the raw vanilla beans, spicy cinnamon maybe even some peel. It lacks some of the malty body I’m used to perhaps, but it’s not as though it’s not there. The smoke is elegant, restrained. Sultanas and caramel too. Yum.

Massive fan. Get into it.