Review by Nonjatta contributor - Serge Valentin
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"Nikka 'The Blend' (40%, OB, +/-2008)
They write ‘Malt Base Whisky’ on the label… Doesn’t that just mean ‘Blended Whisky’?
Nose: Rather spirity, pretty malty and a tad cardboardy, with also whiffs of warm paraffin and olive oil. Very little fruitiness, a rather austere profile. Not unpleasant, I must say, and certainly not ‘commercial’.
Mouth: Rather dry, not really weak at the attack but a little too cardboardy. Good proportion of peated malt it seems, and even a little salt, but that’s not enough to lift this one to recommendable levels, although it is certainly not undrinkable. Actually, it does improve over time, gaining body and a bigger peatiness. Also a little pepper and quite some ginger.
Finish: Short but clean and, again, nicely peaty.
Comments: A blend that reminds us of Black Bottle in a certain way (not the 10yo). The palate is much nicer than the nose. SGP:232 – 74 points." (Serge`s scoring system is explained on this page.)