Nikka Releases Two High End Japanese Whiskies For 50th Anniversary Of Miyagikyo Distillery

By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / January 17, 2020

The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company was originally founded in Japan by one Masataka Taketsuru in 1934 with the establishment of the Yoichi Distillery on the island of Hokkaido. Taketsuru’s early successes prompted the development of a second distillery, Miyagikyo, in 1969, this time built on the island of Honshu in the foothills of the Miyagi prefecture, two hours north of Tokyo. It is with this latter location in mind that two new high end Japanese whiskies have been released to mark the recent 50th anniversary of its founding.

Housed in frosted-black bottles, what’s being called the Single Malt Miyagikyo Limited Edition 2019 and Single Malt Yoichi Limited Edition 2019, according to those behind them, will each retail for $3,500 in the U.S., with only 70 bottles of each available. Each expression is a composition of whiskies from the past five decades – 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. In the case of the Miyagikyo expression, the single malt contains some of the very first whisky coming out of the distillery.

It is noted that while Yoichi Distillery is located near the sea, producing peaty whiskies, Miyagikyo is surrounded by mountains and sandwiched between two fresh water rivers, providing better humidity and air quality conditions for soft and mild malt; it is also home to two Coffey stills. To reflect the distinctive environments of the two distilleries, each limited edition features a nod to its home – the background design of Yoichi denotes the sea, while the Miyagikyo expression is a nod to mountains.

Miyagikyo 50th Anniversary whiskies

The Miyagikyo 50th Anniversary whiskies (image via Nikka)

You’ll find more information on each release, including official tasting notes, below for your consideration.

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Single Malt Yoichi Limited Edition 2019 (750ml; 48% ABV; $3,500  SRP; 70 bottles)

  • Nose:    Sweetness of butter and maple-syrup coated pancakes, oaky vanilla, and peatiness of the seashore
  • Palate:  Bitter dark chocolate, fragrant barley body, peat smoke
  • Finish:  Woodiness of oak, bright orange peel, trailing strong peat

Single Malt Miyagikyo Limited Edition 2019 (750ml; 48% ABV; $3,500  SRP; 70 bottles)

  • Nose:    Sweetness from deep, long-matured sherry, richness of pound cake, herbal fragrance like lavender honey
  • Palate:  Sherry-sweet body, soft depth of a cask, rich and mellow
  • Finish:  Bitter and sweet flavor, smoothness of cashews with a faint peaty trail


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