Miyagikyo single malt, Nikka whisky (45% ABV)
Star rating: 5/5
The Miyagikyo distillery is Nikka’s second and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019. Near Sendai, it is rather less northerly than the Yoichi distillery and has a reputation for making a lighter range of spirits, less aggressive and with fruitier flavours – like the difference between gentle lowland and punchier Campbeltown scotches.
This, then, is a No Age Statement offering from Nikka, as demand for the distillery’s 10-, 12- and 15-year-olds was stripping their warehouses bare. Whilst the lack of specific age releases is a disappointment for some, the Miyagikyo is still a great showcase for this distillery.
A pleasing pale amber-gold in the glass, it is intense on the nose without being heavy. You'll detect oodles of cereal, hints of candyfloss, banana and crisp, sweet apple balanced by the scent of savoury smoke and wild meadows.
The palate shows a continuation, with delicate grass and floral notes before a full barley-malt sweetness. That's followed by honey and the emergence of spicy ginger and liquorice root, with slightly ashy smoke bringing in chocolate to the finish.
You're left with a return of the rich fruit notes, with tobacco intensity, chocolate and spice.
The perfect pour
The fruit, spice and sweetness of the Miyagikyo are given a fillip by the slight savoury element, and a perfect serve would be neat, with a small jug of water available to open the flavours if desired.
In addition, it is ideally suited to pairing with something sweet, such as dark fruitcake or a good, but not overly-bitter, chocolate.
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This review was last updated in April 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.