Whiskycast included this quote in their post which was taken from the letters Nikka sent to importers:
“With the current depletion, Yoichi and Miyagikyo malt whiskies, which are the base of most of our products, will be exhausted in the future and we will be unable to continue the business. Although we are now distilling spirits at full capacity, a long maturation period will be required until the spirits can be sold.”
There is also some speculation that Suntory may follow suit due to their lack of distilling during the whisky lake era. Suntory have already announced price hikes on a good portion of their lineup so it’s not looking too great.
Ok so according to the highly reputable Nonjatta blog, Nikka will indeed completely discontinue the list of expressions shown at the bottom of this post (scroll down a while). So basically they are discontinuing all their current single malt expressions (including the current NAS versions) and replacing them with new NAS versions. It may seem strange of them to discontinue their current NAS expressions and release new NAS expressions but I think this is indicative of a shift to using younger whiskies for the NAS range which will alter the flavour profile. This is really honest marketing right here and I really respect that. I just hope they release more expressions soon.
Original Post Below
Nikka has recently posted a final sale notice to retailers in Japan which listed a number of expressions that they will stop selling in August 2015. Surprisingly, within this list are all the core Yoichi and Miyagikyo expressions as can be seen at the bottom of this post.
Please see update above as my speculations below may have been incorrect.
I am not sure if this means that these expressions will be completely discontinued or if they are simply discontinuing it in their home market similar to what Macallan and Glenlivet have done for there 12 year old expressions. Also note that the list comes with bottle sizes. So perhaps they are simply going to reduce bottle sizes to something like 50cl or 35cl to raise unit price while maintaining the affordability of a “bottle”. It seems really strange that they would discontinue the 10 year old as it is basically their flagship whisky in western markets.