Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Nikka - From The Barrel

Well yesterday I tried something old and today I'm going to try something new...  Nikka is a Japanese distillery that produces some very high quality whiskies. I haven't heard anything negative about the "From The Barrel" expression. At 51.4%, this cask strength whisky will likely pack quite a punch. For this reason I have it already poured and am allowing it to breath. I also have a bit of water to try with it as I have heard that that can have a positive effect.

I have paired this whisky with Jethro Tull's "Songs From The Wood". Aside from the fact that I find this to be one of the Tull's most under-rated albums, I figured it made sense to pair a whisky that is "from the barrel" with songs that are "from the wood". I don't think that I need to go into any sort of introduction for who Jethro Tull are. If you aren't sure have a listen to "Stand Up" or "Aqualung" and be spoiled by the rock and roll brilliance. I have heard the bands sound referred to as "Art Rock". Ian Anderson is known for his flute playing. The flute definitely adds a classical feel to the music. Songs from the wood also incorporates Celtic and renaissance sounds.

And now for the whisky:

Nose: Thick smell of dried fruits and clove, this softens to sweet oranges, I also picked up on some floral notes and something like syrup or maybe molasses.              

Palate: A spiciness is first to speak and then this is followed by notes of toasted almonds, I also detect a fruitiness, something dry maybe raisins or even pear.

Finish: This goes on for ever. Huge and wonderful. Wood, melon and vanilla come to my mind here. This whisky is absolutely flawless.

Now to add some water:

Nose: The fruit freshens up here. Some mint comes out.  Everything seems brighter, newer and fresher. I now get notes of chocolate and cherries.

Palate: Bloody brilliant. Cocoa and coffee dance around with stewed peaches. This is surrounded by a buttery quality that is in the taste and feel.

Finish: The finish is just as long but seems thicker. The wood kicks in to give the butter some company.

Well how nice is that. This is really a welcome addition to my collection and I can't wait to try other expressions from Nikka.

I also enjoyed the album. Really gotta love the eclectic sound and the way the songs have so many parts. A nice compliment to any dram I would say.      

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