Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gold & Gold Shirobin (and Orson Welles)

Gold & Gold has been one of the mainstays of Nikka's range of blended whiskies since its launch in 1968. This version is actually called "Shirobin" or "White bottle", even though the labeling is all in black. I think the "white" probably refers to the transparent glass, which I think can also be described as "shiroi" in Japanese. Anyway, there were some great ads for "G and G" in the late 70s and early 80s:

Orson Welles liked it, or at least liked the Nikka signed cheque enough to say so, but what does the real expert think:

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin

Visit Serge`s website, the definitive

"Nikka 'Gold & Gold' (43%, OB, blend, +/-2008)
Colour: Gold.
Nose: We’re close to the ‘Blend’, only even drier and a little maltier. Hints of beer and soft spices (ginger, cumin). Just as austere, but these whiskies are probably not made for deep nosing.
Mouth: Not very big at the attack but rounder and creamier than the ‘Blend’. Notes of beer again (gueuze, fruit flavoured Belgian beer), marzipan, quite some malt and the same kind of salty peatiness as in the ‘Blend’. Really warms up after a few minutes. Hints of kirsch.
Finish: Medium-long, maybe just a tad too sugary but the peatiness blends well with soft spices and something slightly ‘oriental’ (orange blossom water). Aftertaste a tad too spirity.
Comments: A blend of good quality. SGP:342 - 76 points." (Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)

Here is that old G and G campaign again:

Orson's alcoholic dabblings were of course not limited to Japanese whisky. In this clip he seems to have mixed his private and professional interests:


Yokosuka Mike said...

After reading this review I decided I had to try some Gold & Gold. Well, that proved very difficult, this stuff is hard to find. I checked every source of whisky I knew in the Yokosuka area, Yokohama and even Tokyo; I couldn’t find G&G on the shelf at all. Faced with failure and feeling desperate I asked a friend of mine that operates a small grocery store (that also sells booze) if he could order a couple bottle for me. He did and a week later it arrived. I picked up the G&G and that night I was finally able to taste this hard-to-find treat. First off, Serge Valentin’s review is spot on! The only thing I can add is that the G&G reminds me of Nikka’s “All Malt” whisky; it’s a tiny bit on the sweet side. I dank it on the rocks with a splash of water and on a hot humid night it really hit the spot; vey satisfying indeed! I can already tell that I’ll be asking my friend to order some more for me in the near future.

All-in-all, the hunt was fun, the wait was worth it and the whisky is a delight.

Best regards,

Yokosuka, Japan

Nonjatta said...

Perhaps I should revise my "mainstay of Suntory's range" thing at the start of the post? In light of your difficulty finding it...