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The Yoichi 10 Is Back!

(Image Source: Yoichi)

 

Nikka is finally back with an age-statement for its core Yoichi Japanese Single Malt - some 7 years since it began discontinuing one after another its core range of age-statement single malts as a result of overwhelming demand for Japanese whiskies.

Over the past couple of years, the distillery has been bulking up its stock of age-statement whiskies and have had to largely rely on non age-statement (NAS) younger whiskies to prop the Japanese spirits giant up.

The inaugural comeback will see the Yoichi carry a 10-Year age-statement, ensuring that the single malt contained is at least  10 years of age, if not older.

Nikka's parent, Asahi, has laid out a distribution plan that will start with Hokkaido Prefecture, Yoichi's hometown, beginning from 26th July, following which it will be released nationally from 15th November, 2022. It will be distributed internationally subsequently.

 

Official Tasting Note

Aroma

Woody and Sweet Oak Barrels, Ripe Banana-like Fruits, Powerful and Complex Malt

Taste

Sweet and Sour Taste, Pear, Peaches, Smoke Food

Finish

Long, Pleasant, Harmony of Richness and Peat

 

It will be bottled at 45% ABV, priced at an RRP of 8,800 JPY (or 64 USD), with a total outturn of 9,000 bottles released annual, at least in Japan for the time being.

 

Our Take

Any guesses as to what price this will fetch? Or if anyone will realistically get their hands on it? Last it was sold on Whisky Auctioneer, the previous edition fetched a price of 200 GBP (or 237 USD), which is already 4x the RRP of the new release. Throw in a relatively small outturn (relative to international demand at least), and it's a recipe for flipping ~ 

You can bet that bars (especially those domestically in Japan) will carry it, but if you were hoping to get your hands on one, well, good luck.

Of some interest is the perennial debate as to whether distilleries who know that their releases have overwhelming investment value, and by extension, demand, should raise RRPs or keep them affordable. That sounds pretty counter-intuitive, but the line of reasoning goes something like this: if the RRP was higher, it trims down the upside for flippers on the secondary markets and makes it not worth their while, and thereby raises the risk of them holding on to bottles that can't sell, thus deterring them. Not the most intuitive reason, but I can wrap my head around it.

That said, I find it somewhat untenable, personally, as the demand for such bottles are just completely bananas (the tasting notes did mention banana-like fruits didn't it?) and you'd be amazed what some of these bottles that were once relatively common, with huge outturns in the past, can go for. Don't underestimate the secondary markets, folks. And if the raised-RRP experiment fails, all we're left with are extremely expensive drams as bars have to get them somehow (particularly bars outside of Japan who don't enjoy direct distribution from distilleries). The same goes for drinkers outside of Japan - it'll just become more inaccessible internationally, which in turn hurts the distillery's brand awareness.

That said, it's great to see Japanese whisky stocks begin to replenish, and it really demonstrates the extent of how crazy demand got that it took something like 7 years to even throw out a 10-Year Old from a massive, well-established distillery. Let's hope this release makes up for everything else we tried in the past couple of years.

  

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot