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Monday, 3 December 2012

18 Under 30 Part Three: Nikka From The Barrel Japanese Whisky

As you may well now be aware, in the run up to Santa's big day we are publishing our top eighteen purchases for Christmas that weigh in at under thirty of your British earth pounds.

From beer (#1) to Scotch (#2), via various booze-based hooch, we'll kick back on Christmas Day and relax with some of these fantastic purchases.

Our third choice is yet another whisky which should form part of any good whisky cabinet, especially when you're on a budget. The Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood from yesterday is a must when looking for the most solid of Speyside introductions, but this next offering gives you something a little more, erm, exotic when asking Granddad what he would like for his fireside dram on Boxing Day.

Number 3 in our 18 Under 30: Nikka - From The Barrel - NAS - 51.4% ABV - 500ml

Nose: Very interesting nose. Dark and brooding and full of fresh wood. Really yummy. Dried apricots, mandarin. I wish I knew how old this was, as it smells old. Really old. Musty but fresh, like very well kept wooden tables you get in members clubs in London. No leather or musty books like you get with some “old” smelling whisky. The deeper you nose, the more you get: green apples. Peanut butter. This is goooood....

Palate: In it goes, big build up with that nose! Hummm... not the kick you would expect from a whisky at 51.4% but there is depth there. Not big sherry depth, more of a melange of interesting little flavours that make up depth; strawberries, Marmite, mint, pork scratchings, dark chocolate coco-powder (like the stuff on top of cappuccino's). Very interesting and tasty.

Finish: Lots of red chilli on the back of the throat, followed by soothing and clearing menthol which makes way for the beautifully strong oak to shine through.

Overall: This is not a tame whisky. The fresh mints, strawberry and coco powder make for a wonderful palate and the menthol at the end works so well with the red chilli. But the nose is the biggest surprise for this, making for a wonderful start. At again the ridiculous price of around £30, this is a bloody fantastic buy. Get it for a mate for a pressie and snaffle a bit away when they are not looking. They’ll think you bought them something a lot more expensive so you look like a great friend, plus you get to try it for free!! He he!!

Under £30 here and here.