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Nikka New Travel Retail Single Malts; Yoichi Grande and Miyagikyo Grande

What you need to know:

  • Nikka is releasing a new set of Yoichi and Miyagikyo single malts headed for Japan's travel retail, the Yoichi Grande and Miyagikyo Grande.
  • They will feature Yoichi with a higher proportion of peated malt, boosting the distinctive Yoichi smoky flavors, while the Miyagikyo will feature a higher proportion of sherry cask matured malt, also to bolster the distinctive Miyagikyo fruitier flavors. Grande's the word!
  • They will be bottled at 48% ABV and will be made available across Japan's airports from the 12 April 2022, priced at 10,000 JPY or 82 USD. It is also currently already available at Singapore's Changi Airport.
  • This seems like an inversion of everything that went awry with the first instalment of Nikka's new Discovery Series - amped up house flavors for each of the single malts, higher ABV (which matters to some), and perhaps more importantly, a much more reasonable price.

  • Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Hard Cop



Nikka is launching a set of single malts for the travel retail market, which will come in the form of a pair of Yoichi and Miyagikyo single malts, labelled as "Grande". Hence, the Single Malt Yoichi Grande and the Single Malt Miyagikyo Grande. Jumping on the Ariana Grande hypetrain? 


"The two products to be released this time emphasise the distinctive raw whisky of each brand in order to bring out the individuality of Single Malt Yoichi and Single Malt Miyagikyo.

The product name is "Grande" in order to convey the product features not only to Japanese but also to overseas customers in an easy-to-understand manner.

The package design is a white base color with the Rashinban, which is the icon of products for airport duty-free shops, drawn on the label background."


The Rashinban here refers to a navigational compass, which is lightly stenciled in the white background of the packaging. Both will be bottle at 48% ABV, which is quite decent for a travel retail release, and be priced at 10,000 JPY or 82 USD.


The Yoichi Grande

What will be unique about this pair of releases is that the Yoichi Grande will featured a higher proportion of heavily peated malt and virgin oak-aged whisky, which is said to produce a "rich aged aroma and mild sweetness, mellow fruit aroma, soft and smoky nose, malt notes and bittersweet peat, thick richness, and subtle oak sweetness and a woody and plump finish." 


(Image Source: Nikka)


The Miyagikyo Grande

The Miyagikyo Grande on the other hand, will feature more sherry cask aged malt and also more virgin oak-aged whisky, producing "sweetness of dried fruits derived from sherry casks, rich sweet scent, the fruitiness and mellow taste reminscent of pears, and the aroma of cacao and a long finish."


 (Image Source: Nikka)


Release Info

Nikka states that the bottles will be made available across Japan's airports from the 12 April 2022. It is also currently already available at Singapore's Changi Airport.


Our Take

Nikka has been on the theme of focusing on bringing to the spotlight what makes their Yoichi and Miyagikyo single malts distinctive and why they are the way they are; their DNA as one would say.


The first of the Nikka Discovery Series. (Image Source: Nikka)

Recall that last year, they launched their Discovery Series, the first of the annual instalments was a Yoichi Non-Peated and a Miyagikyo Peated, which basically bended the identities of their two hallmark whiskies, the more smouldering Yoichi having always been peated, while the more gentle Miyagikyo has traditionally been non-peated.

If anything, that release showed us that some things are great the way they are and maybe screwing with the distinctive characters of two longstanding icons of Japanese whiskies isn't such a good idea. As Ariana would say, thank you, next.



So, what do you do moving from there? Give the people what they want!

Maybe they heard us. 😏

Now we're getting Yoichi plus and Miyagikyo plus - more of the distinctive features of the two splendid whiskies. With this release, I guess they flipped the other way around and amped it up. However, since the Discovery Series was designed to feature different aspects of the two single malts, there ain't no do-overs.

Which is all the better I suppose. This release is certainly priced much cheaper, carry a higher ABV (which isn't necessarily a better taste, but matters to some folks), and while no bottle count is mentioned, looks set to be a wider release than the Discovery series.

What's not to love?


Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Hard Cop


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