Nikka From The Barrel - 51.4%
This sample comes from a batch pre-dating the US release (circa 2014-2016). Since then, Nikka has announced that From The Barrel doesn't qualify as Japanese whisky - no age statement to clarify the youngest whisky in the blend and also allegedly includes a significant ratio of Ben Nevis. Regardless, this expression has turned lots of whisky fans into Japanese whisky fans. Nikka From The Barrel is a combination of "more than 100 different batches of malt and grain whiskies" and is dialed in at just under 103 proof.
Notes: Very rich on the nose. Big bourbon cask influence - lots of orchard fruit and vanilla. Toffee and winter spices nods at sherry casks. The palate is brighter with citrus and fruit skin. Some of the character/distinction gets lost on the palate. The brighter top notes lead to a shorter and clean finish in spite of the elevated proof. Moves a little too quickly for me toward the back of the palate. Missing the depth from the nose and entry.
Score: 6 (Solid) Enjoyable. Becomes forgettable from the mid-palate on. Worked through the pour quickly enough, though, and wouldn't have minded another.
10 - Reevaluate The Budget
9 - Stash Two (If Able)
8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)
7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers
6 - Solid - Above Average
5 - Acceptable For The Situation
4 - Not Vocally Complaining
3 - Anything Else To Drink?
2 - Nothing Nice To Say
1 - Drain Pour