Nikka Pure Malt Black
Nikka Pure Malt Black is a blended malt whisky from Nikka, one of the two great whisky-making houses in Japan. The expression carries no-age-statement, and has been hailed by whisky expert Jim Murray as a terrific drink on more than one occasions.
This Japanese whisky is a part of Nikka’s Pure Malt series which also contains the Nikka Pure Malt Red and the Nikka Pure Malt White, all different from one another in some ways.
The Nikka brand was established by Masataka Tatsekuru after ending his association with Kotobukiya Company, which would go on to become Suntory. Masataka worked for Kotobukya after arriving in Japan from Scotland, where he enrolled into the University of Glasgow in order to learn and perfect his knowledge of chemistry.
Upon finishing his academic pursuits, Tatsekuru gained an apprenticeship at two separate distilleries, learning the art of distilling both malt whisky and Coffey still grain whisky at the Longmorn distillery at the Speyside and the Bo’ness Distillery respectively.
He later undertook his ambitious project of building the first Japanese whisky making distillery at Yoichi in 1934, distilling the first batch of Nikka Whisky in 1940. Tatsekuru did not adopt the name ‘Nikka’ for his brand until 1952, prior to which the brand was known as Dai Nippon Kaju Company.
The second Nikka distillery, the Miyagikyo was built in April 1969 and began production soon after, supplying both malt and grain whiskies for Nikka expressions. There are two Coffey stills at the Miyagyiko distillery, imported from Scotland in 1963, and 1966 respectively.
The Nikka Pure Malt Black is a blended malt whisky, and although the name can be a bit confusing, it is not a single malt whisky. This no age statement Nikka whisky expression is a fine example of Japanese whisky making, created by blending together source malt whiskies from the Yoichi and Miyagyaki distilleries.
The Pure Malt Black is a part of the Pure Malt series from Nikka with a 100% malted barley mash bill and dried with peat. Other Nikka whisky expressions part of the Pure Malt series are Pure Malt Red and Pure Malt White.
The Nikka Pure Malt Black carries an alcohol strength of 43% ABV, slightly higher than the permissible limit for most whiskies in most countries of the world such as Scotland, Ireland and America.
Gold medal from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible in the Liquid Gold Award category in 2014.
14th December 2016
Nikka Pure Malt Black Tasting Notes
Rich, earthy with moderate amounts of smoke, and some creamy fruity aromas.
Long, rich and potent with a spicy aftertaste.
Dark chocolate, ripe fruits, with generous flavours of caramel and vanilla followed by some peatiness.
More whiskies in the league
Founded in 1934 by Suntory's first master distiller, Nikka has risen to become Japan's second largest distiller, producing a wide range of single malts as well as their impressive blended whisky range.
Nikka Coffey Grain Japanese Whisky
Nikka Coffey Grain is a Japanese whisky produced by Nikka Whisky, one of the largest whisky makers in the country. The whisky is named ‘Coffey’ because it is distilled using the patented Coffey Still, a type of column still created by Aeneas Coffey.
Super Nikka Whisky
One of Nikka's classic brands, the Super Nikka was introduced to the market in 1962. Its luxuriant aroma, gentle hints of peat and scent of vanilla and chocolate are all in harmony, and its flavor is smooth, rounded and well-balanced.
Taketsuru Malt Whisky
This is a blended malt named in honor of Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japanese whisky. He is the first Japanese who mastered whisky-making in Scotland and produced the genuine whisky in Japan. Masataka learned that the natural resources surrounding a distillery were essential for quality whisky. Based on his thought, he selected two places, Yoichi and Miyagikyo, and built two distilleries there. Its gentle malt flavor, fruitiness and extremely well-balanced taste make it a perfect entry point into the world of Nikka.
Nikka From The Barrel
Nikka From The Barrel is a cask-strength blended Japanese whisky expression from Nikka, one of Japan’s largest spirits and alcoholic beverage producers. Founder Masataka Tatsekuru is credited with being a revolutionary figure who laid the foundations of the Japanese whisky industry.
Nikka Yoichi Single Malt
The Nikka Yoichi is a Japanese single malt whisky from the house of Nikka, one of the two great whisky distillers from Japan. It is a no-age-statement whisky, and was relaunched in 2016 owing to its critical and commercial success among whisky enthusiasts.
Recommended For You
Made by seventh-generation distillers Paul and Steve Beam, this is a blend of sweet, spicy and smoky bourbons. Yellowstone was launched in 2015 in homage to the Limestone Branch Distillery founders' great-grandfather, Minor Case Beam, who sold his distillery to Yellowstone over a century before.
Clan Campbell 12-Year-Old
Clan Campbell is a brand of blended Scotch whisky deriving its name from a historic Scottish clan from the Northern regions of Scotland. The Clan Campbell 12-Year-Old is a blended Scotch whisky expression was first released in the 1980s.
Hellyers Road Original Roaring Forty
Single malt whisky from the Hellyers Road distillery in Tasmania (which Mike wrote a blog post about a while ago). This is the Original "Roaring Forty" expression, named after the 40km/h winds which blow in the rain-clouds, making the production of this whisky possible. It's aged in American white oak barrels
Ballantine’s 17 years is a blended Scotch whisky, a blend of malt and grain whiskies with an age-statement of 17 years, making it the second oldest age-statement blend from the Ballantine’s core range.
Glen Grant Malt Scotch
Light and apple fresh is the character which defines Glen Grant and this desire for delicacy has been present ever since ‘The Major’ took charge in the late 19th century.
Highland Bird Scotch
Highland Bird 3 year old Blended Scotch Whisky is the combination of some of the finest Highland and Speyside Single Malts chosen by our Master Blender to compliment the Lowland grain whisky which creates an experience which is individual and exciting.
Knockando 12yr Malt Scotch
Formerly carrying a vintage, Knockando's ongoing bourbon-cask bottling has now been released as a 12 year old. Light and fruity with spicy hints.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
The Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch is a no age statement, bottled-in-bond, straight Kentucky Bourbon whiskey from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. The Small Batch bourbon was first launched in 2013 and is named after Col. Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr., a firm supporter of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. Even though there are no set guidelines or any fixed definition, a small batch bourbon is any bourbon that has been created by blending a relatively small number of barrels to achieve the flavour profile. A bottled-in-bond whiskey is distilled only once at one distillery in one season. Bottled-in-bond whiskeys also have to be aged for a minimum of four years. The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was passed to guarantee customers of the authenticity of the whiskey and protect them from counterfeit products.