Wednesday, November 4, 2015

No Phoenix From the Ashes

The Nikka Shock earlier this year left those of us who had received early word of the impending death of Miyagikyo and Yoichi aged single malts scrambling for any of the remaining available bottles we could get our greedy hands on. By August 1st, a full month before the announced final shipment from the distilleries to stores, there wasn't even a hope of finding any of these gems left.

On September 1st, the prices of Taketsuru 17 and 21 were nearly doubled and Nikka had released their new NAS versions of Miyagikyo and Yoichi. During summer vacation, I found an original NAS Yoichi at a 7-11 in a rural area. These NAS Nikka whiskies were the only Nikka single malts you were ever going to find at a convenience store, and as long as the aged versions were available for stupid-cheap prices, what whisky lover was going to fork over 2000 yen for a 500-ml bottle of NAS Yoichi when a 700-ml bottle of 10-Year Yoichi could still be gotten for around 4000 yen? But now, even those original NAS bottles are collectors items.

Made more so by the fact that the new NAS Miyagikyo and Yoichi expressions, selling for around 4000 yen as of this writing, are absolute shit. I always say that there are no bad whiskies, just ones I won't dance with again, but in this case I'm willing to say that someone needs to be killed for this insult to humanity.

Summary: New NAS Miyagikyo and Yoichi single malts from Nikka are as awful as a malt going for their price can get. The old NAS Yoichi single malt usually found at convenience stores that we used to ignore is a huge step up from these new NAS malt offerings.


  1. That's a shame. The previous NAS Yoichi was a perfectly respectable single malt. I was disappointed by both of Suntory's Distillers Reserves but in those instances I was comparing them with the age-stated older malts. I wonder why Nikka chose to tinker with their NASes?

    1. It seems to all come down to the lack of change in the Taketsuru expressions. Since Taketsuru is a blend of aged Miyagikyo and Yoichi (17+ years), the available aged stock of those two single malts has been set aside for Taketsuru production. Taketsuru itself hasn't undergone any changes and has the same level of quality as always. This is true for the NAS Taketsuru as well, so the previously available NAS Miyagikyo and Yoichi has also been set aside for NAS Taketsuru production. What this shows is that Nikka has decided to completely throw away the excellent reputation they've enjoyed as producers of fine single malts (Miyagikyo and Yoichi) and have doubled down on bad decision making by selling NAS single malts that are inferior to the previously available NAS versions at double the price. Like I said, it's completely insulting to their loyal fan base.