Nikka "The Grain" Japanese Whisky Nikka Discovery Series for 2023
48% ABV, 750 ml
This is the third release in the Nikka Discovery Series
"Japanese whisky giant Nikka has been on the countdown to their 90th Anniversary which will happen in 2024, doing so through their annual Discovery Series, with each volume in the series intended to give fans a peek at Nikka's behind-the-scenes experiments.
This gives their distilleries the flexibility to play around with a variety of different styles than the usual. In 2021, the first volume saw a peat switcheroo with a non-peated Yoichi and a peated Miyagikyo, and in 2022 the second volume saw yeast become the main theme with their "Aromatic Yeast" interpretations of both Yoichi and Miyagikyo single malts.
In 2023, the third volume of the series will see the release of a somewhat often overlooked yet highly critical battleground for the Japanese whisky landscape - grain whisky with Nikka "The Grain".
A total of 10,000 bottles will be released for the domestic Japan market with another 10,000 bottles released internationally.
The Big Grain Battle As a quick recap, grain whisky has been a hot topic with Japanese whisky makers because of the looming new Japanese whisky labelling regulations which will be activated in 2024, requiring Japanese whiskymakers to produce their whiskies entirely in Japan in order to use the haloed term "Japanese whisky" on their bottle labels.
And yet few whiskymakers have grain whisky capabilities - grain whisky often being seen as key to making a good blended whisky by providing a more neutral canvas for single malts to be married together cohesively.
Nonetheless that whole fight to get grain whisky capabilities up and running asap is of little concern to Nikka which has been producing grain whiskies for decades now with its flagship core expression the Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky.
The new grain expression from Nikka will feature not just one style of grain, it'll feature "a lively variety of grain whiskeys" with seven styles of grain whiskies blended to form the expression.
"The finished Nikka "The Grain" is a unique whiskey that combines various elements. It starts with the gorgeous and rich Coffey grains and the sweetness of Coffey malt, and ends with the aroma of barley, the sweetness of corn, and the freshness of rye."
Official Tasting Notes
Aroma Freshness reminiscent of marmalade and cider. Woody and vanillic. Sweet and savory cereal aromas like toast and cookies.
Taste A gentle spice like cinnamon and sweetness of corn. Refreshing, full-bodied flavor derived from rye.
Together they create a barley, corn and rye blended grain expression with "a refreshing spiciness and a mellow and deep sweetness" featuring heavy use of the continuous Coffey distillation still." 88 Bamboo