Miyagikyo Single Malt
Day Two in the Whisky Advent Calendar
*In this series, I’m working my way through the 2015 Master of Malt Whisky Advent.
Yoichi has impressive heritage in Japan since it is the distillery started by Masataka Taketsuru after he left Yamazaki (currently Suntory) distillery in southern Japan. He trained in Scotland, married a Scottish girl, and then helped to found the first Scottish style whisky distillery in Japan with Torii Shinjiro called Yamazaki at the time.
They had a difference of opinions that led to him leaving after a decade and starting his own distillery in northern Japan on the Island of Hokkaido. His distillery (Yoichi) named itself Nikka in 1952 and in 1962 became the first to introduce true quality Scottish style whisky in Japan.
Taketsuru opened Miyagikyo with the goal of using it as another source to help provide complexity in his whisky blends. They still provide the grain whisky used in most of Nikka’s blends. They also use two of the only remaining active Coffey Stills!
There’s no age statement on this little bottle, and the next marked single malt from Miyagikyo is the 10yr old, so I’m guessing it’s younger than that.
It’s lovely. I compared it with the Nikka 12 and the Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky because I’m guessing the Coffey Grain was made at the same distillery.
It comes off as smooth caramel with a bit of a grassy bite at the end. Nice warmth from the wood and not at all harsh from the young age.
The wild thing is that I felt I recognized it the moment I tasted it. Luckily I had a bottle of the thing it reminded me of so I was able to do a taste comparison. Turns out I was right. It tastes freakishly close to the Scottish Single Malt, Glendronach 15.
Definitely worth getting if you can find it. If you can’t get it in your area, try tracking down the Glendronach 15, and you’ll come pretty dang close.