Smoky wood and caramel with some spirit overtones.
Quite closed initially, not giving a lot away except for some sweetness and a little oak but as it sits in the glass for 5-10 mins the smoke really comes through and the oak notes soften.
Before being given chance to breathe I noted a possible slight hint of tropical fruit, pineapple perhaps?
Sweetness dies back and allows some of the lighter fruitier notes to shine through.
Oak is still there with vanilla beginning to rise up but the smoke still whirls and some tobacco-ey notes pop up.
When the smoke grabs you it’s very reminiscent of Pure Malt Black.
A little spice showing through, cinnamon predominantly and maybe a little coffee.
Medium length drying finish.
Caramel sweetness raises its head again, albeit briefly, and the tobacco notes ride with you through to the end.
Little to no heat/fire.
Despite being rather underwhelmed with this dram to start with I gave it some time to breathe and it became a much richer, deeper experience. That said, from the online reviews and my love for the rest of Nikka’s range, I was expecting a lot more.
It’s definitely enjoyable but nowhere near the best that Nikka put out; a little simple on the nose and, to me at least, not rich a rich enough flavour profile on the palate.
Texture is pleasant, as are the individual elements, I was just hoping for more.
For a richer but similar collection of flavours I think I’ll stick with the FTB or Pure Malt Black.
TOTAL SCORE: 73