Whisky Review: Nikka Days

By Melissa Jones / September 7, 2020

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Hotaling & Co. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

The first Nikka distillery was finished in 1934 on the northern island of Hokkaido by Masataka, said to be the father of Japanese whisky. It was made in the purest Scottish traditions, being located in a cold climate near peat bogs and salty sea air. The first Nikka Whisky was released in 1940 and Nikka Days was launched in 2018.

This new blended whisky brings together both grain and malt. “Coffey Grain Whisky and aromatic non-peated Miyagiko malts as well as a touch of Coffee Malt Whiskey and Yoichi malts” comes together in this new blend. Nikka Days is the third in the blended whisky line up for Nikka and a perfect addition to your summer days. It could be considered for any days that need brightening, even in the winter.

Nikka Whisky is best served neat or with a large, clear ice cube if you must. “In Japan, blended whiskies are often served alongside a plethora of small dishes, in a tall glass with ice and water. Nikka Whisky’s recommended ratio is 3 parts mixer to 1 part whisky, but feel free to adjust to your preferred taste.”

A little known fact about Nikka is that they also make gin and vodka in the same Coffey Stills that they use for their Coffey Whisky Line.

Nikka Days

Nikka Days (image via Melissa Jones/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Nikka Days Whisky

Vital Stats: 80 proof; Blended whisky; Miyagikyo + Yoichi distilleries; $44

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Color: Old gold

Nose: There’s just a hint of peat when you open the bottle. The more pronounced aromas are fermented rice, brine, salt, and overripe apple.

Palate: It’s a bit sweet and peppery but still creamy and smooth. It’s a bit on the thin and watery side but very refreshing. There’s some butter, apple, pepper, caramel, malt, and peat finish as the whiskey rolls over your tongue. The alcohol content is low so it is very drinkable.

The Takeaway

Summary

Unlike Nikka's other products there is less peat in the nose and palate and perhaps this is a little less sophisticated, like khakis over slacks. It's a very sippable whisky especially in the summer months as the alcohol content and flavor is low. It makes a great daytime sipper and the packaging sure radiates sunshine and happiness.

Nikka Days is very mild and could be a good intro to Scotch. For me, I still prefer the Nikka Coffey Malt or Nikka From the Barrel which is also in the blended line. If you've never had any Nikka products this would be a great starter. It's less pronounced as the others but very drinkable. I would recommend it for a summer picnic.

3.5
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