A no age statement release from the Yoichi distillery that is a vatting of whiskies from a single decade (years 2000-2009), which is available at the distillery for ¥6480. This Yoichi is part of the Nikka “Decades” series, a 6 bottle series that included single malt whiskies from Yoichi and Miyagikyo that were distilled in 3 different decades; the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s. As stated from the vintages, this particular Yoichi contains some very young whiskies, but that can always be enjoyable if done properly. Recalling a conversation I had 2 years ago with Andrew, I begin to agree that most Yoichi whiskies tastes like a lovely Highland Scotch whisky, and this one really highlights that point. A bouquet full of floral and autumnal fruits, and a lovely hint of smoke. If I had this on a blind tasting, I would have bet my bottom dollar that it was a Highland whisky.
Nikka 余市 Yoichi 2000’s Japanese Single Malt Whisky – 57%
Nose: Pear, cooked apples, floral, candied apricot, and subdued peat. A pleasantly heavy but smooth nose. With water, floral notes become less intense, makes way for a nice salted butter note and nutty wood-chip smoke. 78/100
Palate: Character feels rich and chewy, but not as heavy as the other whiskies I’ve had from this distillery. A lot of floral cooked apples and underripe stone fruit with a tinge of sweet ash greeting you in the back. With water, palate becomes much more similar to the NAS Yoichi. The smokiness, vanilla, typical stewed fruits and the heavy character appears. 78/100
Finish: A medium to short, silky dry finish. Nutty sweet, and pleasant richness. 82/100
Afterthought: The texture and taste of a young whisky indeed. I dare say, less mature than the NAS. I feel that the NAS definitely has a mature component that isn’t present in this, rightly so since this only contains whiskies distilled in the years 2000-2009. The high ABV gives this Yoichi its oomph and size, and is the saving grace of this whisky. If you can grab it at the distillery, do yourself a favour and grab 2, drink one and save one for a rainy day. Quite a bargain for an almost cask strength level Yoichi.
I score it: 79/100
Thanks for reading! Kanpai!
Many thanks for the sample sent in by my good friend Terence (@the1980sbar)
Opinions and pictures are my own.