[Malt Review] Nikka Discovery 2021: Non-Peated Yoichi and Peated Miyagikyo
Perhaps the most heavily anticipated Nikkas that came out of 2021 was Volume 1 of Nikka’s Discovery Series. The series intends to give fans a peek at Nikka’s behind-the-scenes experiments and give their distilleries the flexibility to play around with different styles than the usual. Additional Volumes from the Discovery Series are slated for annual release up until 2024, Nikka’s 90th anniversary. In the spirit of “Discovery,” each edition will explore a different aspect of Nikka’s whiskymaking. After all, variety is the spice of life, is it not?
The thing is, Japanese whiskies reached piping hot popularity in the mid-2010s, culminating in a huge mismatch of demand and supply that saw major distilleries cull best-selling labels one after another. So, right at the height of Japanese whisky mania, Nikka was forced to discontinue pretty much their entire age-statement line-up. This was similarly experienced at Suntory. That’s not something particularly easy to do: killing your goose just as her golden eggs were coming out in the dozens. So, the party was quietly snuffed out.
Now, if you were running Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. and you needed to buy a couple more years before your age statement stock (the stuff with the best margins) can be replenished, you’d think about how to keep the party going, even if the music is tellingly different. You’d throw out one-off special editions, NAS obviously, and keep the outturns large. That’ll surely keep the drinkers talking and, with some luck, word-of-mouth would translate to whisky-in-mouth. It’ll also come with a healthy bump in revenue...
Read the full review here.
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