Nikka From The Barrel



My favourite thing about Nikka is how adventurous they are with their releases. It really reflects the character of their founder Masataka Taketsuru who pioneered the art of whisky making in Japan. This expression exemplifies Nikka’s unique approach to whisky. It’s a blended whisky served up at cask strength (you don’t see that often!). Hence “From the barrel”, indicating that it is basically direct from the barrel. According to their website, they marry the blend in used casks for 3-6 months before bottling. While I could not find information about this anywhere, I am assuming that the whisky going into this blend is from Nikka’s Japanese distilleries: Yoichi and Miyagikyo. Although they could have also used whisky from their Scottish distillery, Ben Nevis distillery. Just for clarification, Miyagikyo distillery has both a malt distillery and a grain distillery. So whisky from Miyagikyo could be either. Some other adventurous expressions from Nikka include: Nikka Coffey Malt, Nikka Coffey Grain, and Nikka Pure Malt.  We were gifted a bottle of “From The Barrel” by our friends, Frank and Sabrina, in Munich, Germany!


Type: Blended Whisky

Distillery: Presumably a blend of Yoichi, Miyagikyo, and Miyagikyo grain

Age: No Age Statement

Cask: No statement, but married for 3-6 months in oak casks before bottling

ABV: 51.4%

Price: £33.88 from the Master of Malt




A bold gust of sticky toffee pudding, sultanas, Scottish fudge, cinnamon, Christmas cake with tons of dried fruits.  Old refined oak like from an old library.


A flood of rich sweet dried fruits and cream and spices. Raisins soaked in rum, maraschino cherries, fried bananas, cinnamon in caramel syrup, crème brulee,  deep dark oak tannins, tart and bitter. A meaty note like leather and sweet pork buns. Spicy, sweet, savoury.


Mulled wine spices. Cinnamon, anise and nutmeg. Mixed dried fruits, sultanas, kiwi, strawberries, Berries. Regal oak like the dining room of a palace.




Fantastic. Wow. Just amazing how flavourful and lively this is. Makes me feel like I’ve just stumbled down the rabbit hole. There are just levels and levels of flavours that go at deep at you dare to. And they are so accessible. Really in your face and unapologetic but also well balanced. This is just a super fun dram. It’s spritely enough to keep you on your toes and balanced enough to keep you grounded. Would really drink this any where and any time. It’s boldness brings new meaning to liquid courage. Definitely makes me feel bolder. Yes please!





Rich boiled red berries, sherry sweetness and lingering tannins.


Sweet rich fruits continue into the taste, heavy sherry notes with bitter vanilla.


Bitter sweet finish.




Loving the thick rich notes of this dram. Really plays to the sherry monster in me.



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