Nikka Single Cask Malt Whisky 1986

Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin

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"Miyagikyo 1986/2008 (63%, OB, cask #80283, Warehouse #23)
Colour: Gold.
Nose: Superb as the 1989 at first sniff, maybe even better. More straight peat, very ‘wet’ (garden bonfire with wet grass) and a lot of lemon balm, lime, crystalised oranges and hints of passion fruits. Great nose at 63%! With water: oh, this is very strange. Gets kind of ‘pleasantly rotten’, on notes of well-hung game, gunpowder, even mud… Strange but nice, even if a tad ‘perverse’. So much for a friend who was telling me that Japanese whiskies were ‘lab whiskies.’
Mouth (neat): Ultra-strong but funnily enough, this is ‘swallowable’ as it does not really burn. Very rich but straighter than the 1989 again, with a big smokiness and a very special association of citrus fruits and very aromatic fruits such as ripe raspberries and even rose-flavoured sweets (or high-quality Turkish delights). With water: gets drier but very pleasantly so this time. More bitter chocolate, un-sugared herbal tea and plain tea, notes of cough syrup, peppermint… And always a lot of peat.
Finish: Long, maybe a little simpler than expected because of the rather heavy woodiness but very clean and very peaty (and quite salty).
Comments: A big, concentrated dram that stands water perfectly well this time. At 63%, it’ll make for two bottles for the price of one - almost. SGP:566 - 89 points." (Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)


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