Review: Nikka Miyagikyo 10 Year Old Japanese Single Malt Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

10 Years
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Miyagikyo (Sendai, Japan)

Miyagikyo is located in the foothills of the miyagi prefecture near the town of Sendai. It was built in 1969, the second distillery made by Nikka, after Yoichi. The distillery encounters very high humidity and still uses a coffey still dating back to 19th century. It took the meticulous Masataku Taketsuru 3 years to find the site, his second one.

Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2014

A malty nose, with some incense-like woody notes. On a secondary level, very light floral notes, like lilly, cinnamon, wet earth, pear, lemon peel, and light sweet vanilla. Light and intriguing. The palate continues to be malt, with light fruit as well and a touch of a floral nature as well. There is a slight earthiness and smokiness resembling ever-so-light peat, as well as buckwheat. Very clean, well-balanced, with the players working together very well.

The finish is fairly light, with the maltiness coming through over and above everything else. A bit of smoke and spice, with a cayenne pepper feel, comes through over time as well. This is a very nice light malt, with a good mix of floral, fruit, and spice characteristics. It’s of a character that you could just sip it down casually and just enjoy, but if you were to stop you would find there’s a decent amount going on to create the character. Sophisticated.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, based on $160.