Update: Review by Nonjatta contributor Serge Valentin added. Scroll beneath my sketchy recollections.
I tasked this one in the Blender's Bar. At first, the nose was not very distinctive. To be honest, I can't remember what I made of it and the notes I made are an illegible scrawl. Later, I picked up the glass and got a stink of boiled milk. Like the Miyagikyou 10, it started quietly in the mouth - sweet and fudgy - but quite quickly a harsher soapy taste made its appearance. This didn't overstay its disconcerted welcome and there was a moderate finish, with vanilla and cereals complicating the sweet dried fruits that had been loitering with intent. It didn't have quite the oomph at the finish of the Miyagikyou 10. Although the 12 is a bit more slick in its presentation, I think I would go for its virile younger sibling in a pinch.
Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin
Visit Serge`s website, the definitive Whiskyfun.com.
"Nikka 12 yo 'Miyagikyou' (45%, OB, circa 2006)
Nose: Rather light, flowery, honeyed and slightly smoky, reminding me a bit of a young Highland Park. Develops on even more honey (heather indeed) and a slight mashiness. Well, this one isn’t complex at all but it’s nicely balanced and smooth. Inoffensive.
Mouth: Same. Honey and vanilla flavoured toffee, with a little ginger and again a little nutmeg from the wood. Also faintly resinous. Perfectly quaffable.
Finish: Medium long, on the same flavours. Excellent malt to pour your neighbours if you see what I mean (‘What, you say the Japanese make whiskey? And not bad at that!’) 80 points."
Although quite widely distributed, at least in Japan, the Miyagikyou 12 has had relatively little coverage by either Japanese or English speaking reviewers. A 2005 bottling attracted two write ups on the Maltmaniacs.org webpage. Robert Karlsson and and Michel van Meersbergen both quite established reviewers on the site, gave it 81 ("recommendable") and 87 ("highly recommendable") respectively.
On the Japanese web, the Ichiro Akuto blog describes it briefly on this page. He says it is a "lowland type" whisky with a mild, slightly oily, nose developing into an estery, fruity fragrance. The taste is "mild and smooth".
45 per cent
Price (May 2007)
700 ml - 7,343 yen
(Please note the dates on reviews if they are provided. There may be significant variation between different years of a single malt brand)