Back in the early seventies I  remember when the parents of a school friend of mine took ownership of their first Japanese car.  Sky blue with body work so tinny that an eleven year old could make an indentation in it with their finger.  All in all it was a car by name but little else, nothing special.  And so it was with our first sortie with Japanese whisky.  Put on to Nikka by a customer a few months back we duly purchased a bottle of Nikka Pure Malt Red Label on a visit to our French ‘cash & carry’ in Perpignan a few weeks ago.

With some anticipation we opened the bottle and were left somewhat deflated.

Nikka Red Label is deep amber in colour.  To the nose it is citrus with hints of nail varnish remover.  The taste is narrow, sharp and peppery with some smokiness.  Adding water only left the taste somewhat flat and bland.  Finally, the aftertaste was slightly smokey and left the mouth feeling dry.  Overall, somewhat disappointing.  Let’s hope its kin are better.


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