Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky 70cl 45% ABV
Single malt from the Yoichi distillery, Nikka's first distillery built in 1934. The founder Masataka Taketsuru chose Yoichi in Hokkaido because of the similar environmental conditions to Scotland, where he learned whisky making. Yoichi single malt has pleasant peaty notes and smokiness originating from the traditional direct coal-fired distillation as well as a briny hint delivered by the sea breeze during the aging process.
The northern island of Hokkaido is where Taketsuru came across the ideal site for the construction of Yoichi, a distillery built in the purest Scottish tradition. Hokkaido benefits from a climate closer to Scotland than anywhere else in Japan. Surrounded by mountains on three sides and sea on the other, the distillery is located to the west of Sapporo. It is the only part of Japan to have local access to peat, and originally, the local peat bogs were the source of Yoichi’s subtle smoky character, gently drying the malted barley during the kilning process. Today, much of the peated malted barley used in production is actually imported from Scotland. Peat, coupled with the distillery’s close proximity to the ocean leaves a lasting imprint on the Yoichi products, imparting a salty and smoky character not dissimilar to the famous Scottish malts of Islay. Yoichi's coal-fired stills, stills which are no longer present at any distillery in Scotland, remain in use to this day and add a unique flavour to the whisky and a nod to its heritage.