Nikka Pure Malt Black is a blended malt whisky from Nikka, one of the two great whisky-making houses in Japan. The expression carries no-age-statement, and has been hailed by whisky expert Jim Murray as a terrific drink on more than one occasions.
This Japanese whisky is a part of Nikka’s Pure Malt series which also contains the Nikka Pure Malt Red and the Nikka Pure Malt White, all different from one another in some ways.
The Nikka brand was established by Masataka Tatsekuru after ending his association with Kotobukiya Company, which would go on to become Suntory. Masataka worked for Kotobukya after arriving in Japan from Scotland, where he enrolled into the University of Glasgow in order to learn and perfect his knowledge of chemistry.
Upon finishing his academic pursuits, Tatsekuru gained an apprenticeship at two separate distilleries, learning the art of distilling both malt whisky and Coffey still grain whisky at the Longmorn distillery at the Speyside and the Bo’ness Distillery respectively.
He later undertook his ambitious project of building the first Japanese whisky making distillery at Yoichi in 1934, distilling the first batch of Nikka Whisky in 1940. Tatsekuru did not adopt the name ‘Nikka’ for his brand until 1952, prior to which the brand was known as Dai Nippon Kaju Company.
The second Nikka distillery, the Miyagikyo was built in April 1969 and began production soon after, supplying both malt and grain whiskies for Nikka expressions. There are two Coffey stills at the Miyagyiko distillery, imported from Scotland in 1963, and 1966 respectively.
The Nikka Pure Malt Black is a blended malt whisky, and although the name can be a bit confusing, it is not a single malt whisky. This no age statement Nikka whisky expression is a fine example of Japanese whisky making, created by blending together source malt whiskies from the Yoichi and Miyagyaki distilleries.
The Pure Malt Black is a part of the Pure Malt series from Nikka with a 100% malted barley mash bill and dried with peat. Other Nikka whisky expressions part of the Pure Malt series are Pure Malt Red and Pure Malt White.
The Nikka Pure Malt Black carries an alcohol strength of 43% ABV, slightly higher than the permissible limit for most whiskies in most countries of the world such as Scotland, Ireland and America.
Gold medal from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible in the Liquid Gold Award category in 2014.
14th December 2016
Rich, earthy with moderate amounts of smoke, and some creamy fruity aromas.
Dark chocolate, ripe fruits, with generous flavours of caramel and vanilla followed by some peatiness.
Long, rich and potent with a spicy aftertaste.