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Japanese Whisky Dictionary

The Nikka 12

Article first published by our partner, Japanese Whisky Dictionary. Visit them here. Find the original article here.



Masataka Taketsuru has always been concerned with blended whisky. The Nikka 12 is a premium blended whisky made by carefully selecting and blending raw materials that are more than 12 years old.

An unknown sophistication born from the freedom of blended whisky!
The meeting of Nikka’s proud malt raw spirits and café grains!
The beautiful balance is achieved by the outstanding technology inherited from Masataka Taketsuru.


Tasting Notes

balance beyond expectations that challenges the infinite possibilities of blended

A premium blended whisky made by carefully selecting and blending raw materials that are more than 12 years old.

The Nikka 12 Year Old is a concentrated blend of the finest blending techniques.



The sweet and mellow café grain softly envelops the heavy and powerful Yoichi malt with its unique peaty aroma and the gorgeous, fruity and light Miyagikyo malt.

The taste is sweet like savory cookies, cereal, melon, and peach syrup.
The solid malt-based maturity melds with a mellow, mellow richness, leading to a pleasant finish with faint hints of cocoa and cinnamon.
It is a beautiful harmony of whisky-like flavors and aromas, with all the elements in perfect balance.

It is the result of meticulously calculated blending. It is a whisky like a reliable gentleman, with Nikka’s unique personality pushed out to the fullest.



The bottle design has a bold cut that resembles the collar of an overlapping kimono. The bottle design, which expresses “overlapping” and “Japanese spirit,” seems to embody the pride of Japanese blended whisky. The wooden cap also gives it a sense of dignity.


The tasting notes on the manufacturer’s website are as follows:

Scent A rich malt aroma with gorgeous fruit and bouquet notes. A sweet barrel-aged aroma with hints of vanilla and caramel.
Taste Mild and smooth on the palate. The richness of the malt is harmonized with the soft sweetness of the café grain, resulting in a light and smooth taste.
Aftertaste Sweet and rich aromas of cocoa and cookies, with a slight spice and bitterness that linger pleasantly. Type: Blended



Alcohol level 43%
Type Blended 
Barrel type
Contents 700ml
Number of sales 60,000 bottles
Suggested retail price 6,600yen(including tax)
Release date 30th September 2014


Our Take

THE NIKKA 12 is a delicious whisky that is quite mild and easy to drink. It has a mild mouthfeel with a hint of vanilla sweetness, and after a while of drinking, you start to feel the spiciness on your tongue. The alcohol smell in the aroma is not even perceptible at all. It is characterized by a slightly tart aftertaste that is common in Japanese whiskies, which spreads without being unpleasant.

It is also recommended for whisky beginners, as it tastes much milder and more delicious when mixed with water at a ratio of 1:1.

Unfortunately, it has been announced that The Nikka 12 will be sold out by the end of March 2019, as soon as the stock is gone.



As a successor product, “The Nikka (Non-Age)” will be released on April 9, 2019.

Although it will be changed from 12 years old to non-age, the price structure will be the same as before, with a suggested retail price of 6,000 yen (main price), which is actually a price increase.

If you haven’t tried it yet, or if you are a whisky beginner, please try it at Bar Shinkai.



(All Images Courtesy of JPWhisky.net)


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