Yoichi Single Malt is a Japanese whisky and one premium Japanese whiskies. It seems that Japanese distillers have appeared on the international scene out of nowhere. Yet that is really not the case. In fact, the Japanese have been making whisky for almost 100 years. While it is certainly based on the venerable Scottish whisky there are significant differences.

Most Japanese whiskies are smoother and sweeter than Scotch. In general, they are more delicate and complex. And since the Japanese prefer to drink their whisky with a meal, the taste of the whisky is not meant to stand on its own.

And because these whiskies are designed to be paired with food, they’re a great option for cocktails. One of the world’s finest single malts — notice I say one of the world’s finest —  is the Yoichi Single Malt. In 2008, Nikka’s 1987 Yoichi was named the world’s best single malt at the World Whiskies Awards.  Since then it has become a favorite for mixing with cocktails by more progressive mixologists.

Yoichi single malt has pleasant peaty notes and smokiness originating from the traditional direct coal-fired distillation as well as a briny hint delivered by the sea breeze during the aging process. This results in a flavor a profile reminiscent of Islay scotch.

Yoichi Single Malt

Producer: Nikka Whisky Distilling Company

Origin: Japan

ABV: 45.0%

Price Range: $$$

Awards: Beverage Testing institute 2013 (90); Wine Enthusiast 2913 (93)

Website: www.nikkawhisky.eu/

Tasting Notes —

Color: Light Golden

Nose: Opens up with fresh fruits, apples, oranges a bit of lemon… Light smoke and peat notes comes out surrounded with fresh mint and salty aromas… Little bit of spices in the background…

Palette: Peat is more distinctive in the mouth… Fruity flavors, apples, oranges and melon balancing the light spices… very light caramelized toffee and chocolate popping out…

Finish: Medium silky finish… Fruity flavors leaving behind mint, eucalyptus like freshness…


Price Guide:

$$$$$ = Greater than $100
$$$$   = $80 – 100
$$$     = $50 – 80
$$       = $30 – 50
$          = Less than $30

Further Ratings & Reviews

There are many websites and blogs that do an excellent job of reviewing and rating whiskies. As mentioned above The Whiskybits Composite Score is based on an average of at least three reviews conducted by industry leaders. The reviews sites normally referenced include The LA Whisk(e)y Society, The Whisky Reviewer, Proof 66, The Whisky Advocate and The Whisky Jug.