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Nikka Whisky Celebrates 90th Anniversary With The Nikka Nine Decades Whisky


Japanese historic whisky distiller Nikka has been eyeing its 90th Anniversary for some years now, rolling out an increasing cadence of promotional activity - most notable of which has been the 5 bottle set named the Discovery Series which aimed to explore the signature hallmarks of Nikka's whisky and distilling portfolio.



We saw how important peat and yeast are to Nikka's whiskymaking, as well as the sheer power of its very impressive grain distilling capabilities, across these expressions. 

And now after 3 years of anticipation, we're finally into 2024 and we're at Nikka's 90th Anniversary! And to cap off the celebration, Nikka appears to have another bottle in the works - The Nikka Nine Decades.

The commemorative Nikka Nine Decades is drawn from over 50 components to create the blend, with the components dating to as far back as 1940's distilled single malts from Yoichi, and also the earliest whiskies made at Miyagikyo in the 1970's. All in, the components span the full nine decades of Nikka's distilling history. 



The final blend comes in at 96 Proof (48% ABV), and is said to be "mahogany in hue and spills over with spice rack aromatics; nutmeg, clove, tarragon. The palate builds a beautiful balance between herbal tea and tart fruit, with mocha making its way through the finish."

As Nikka emphasises, the goal of the new release is to commemorate its nine decades long history - the brand has opted to include whiskies from Ben Nevis Distillery in Scotland, which is also owns, and thus will together provide the most comprehensive representation of the Nikka story. Thus it will be presented as a World Blended Whisky, instead of a Japanese Blended Whisky.

A total of 4,000 bottles is set to be released, with the Japan RRP set at ¥330,000 including tax (US$2,118).

Official Tasting Notes

Aroma: A rich apple pie and raisin sweetness with toasty barrel-ageing notes lead into a gentle smokiness and the nostalgic scent of antique furniture. Complex and layered aromas give the impression of standing in the warehouse where the whisky has peacefully slumbered.

Taste: Mellow oak with profound depth forms a base, structuring the spicy cinnamon, roasted nuts, and rich dark chocolate aromas. A subtle bitterness from the peat is balanced by sweet apricot jam and maple syrup, while an overall warmth gives the impression of sitting in front of fireplace.

Finish: Gentle peat is enveloped by the full body, with sweet and sour notes introducing a pleasant bitterness on a very long finish.



It has certainly been a long and storied history of Nikka, whose founder Masataka Taketsuru had been the first Japanese to set sail to Scotland to learn the art of whiskymaking, which he then brought back to Japan to critically provide the necessary expertise that kicked off Japan's whiskymaking story!

Since then we've had some incredible whiskies coming out of Japan, many of which rank in the pantheon of all time legendary whiskies, and have a massive following of its own, often ranking highly for any whisky fan - all thanks to Nikka Whisky's founder!

Let's see what else Nikka has in store for us this year!




88 Bamboo Editorial Team