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With some Zen mastery, two magnificent Nikka malts and one dear departed Ginko entered the fusuma, landed on the tatami as I was resting on my futon..

Nikka Yoichi 10yo Single Malt Batch:014J14C 45%
Woah! Sweet and peat, unexpected, as the vanilla and fruit layers perfectly onto a bed of reeking peat.
Silky smooth, velvety vanilla and loads of peat.
This is so beautifully balanced and so simple on a Zen level….Japanese craft at its finest.
A dash of aqua underlines all of the above and makes this dram one of the very best Japanese that I have had the pleasure of tasting. 92

Nikka Taketsuru 17yo Blended Malt Batch:012A12B 43%

Sour fruit gums, over-ripe bananas, icing-smothered marzipan, candied peel and mandarin oranges.
Silky soft and smooth on the tongue, rich sweet fruits, cardamom and peppery spice on the mid-palate, leaving the fruit, barley and oak jostling during the long finish.
Drink this one neat. 90

This “Dearly Departed” whisky is a rare discontinued bottling, created by the iconic master blender and distiller Ichiru Akuto. A release of only 6000 bottles ensured cult status with Ginkgo receiving an award for one of 2007’s best whiskies of the year.

Ginkgo Blended Malt 46%
Lyle’s golden syrup, peach schnapps, then jasmine. This intense sweetness dominates the spiced barley with a distant musty and dusty note in the background.
The palate initially reflects the nose, then a tsunami of warm chilli that explodes across the tongue, leaving a dry woody finish. Beat neat. 85