All Malt Nikka

All Malt Nikka Whisky

Distillery: Nikka
Expression: All Malt
Category: Blended Whisky
ABV: 40%

The All Malt is unique whisky in the sense that this “blend” doesn’t contain any grain whisky at all.

It’s similar to a vatted (blended) malt with one exception: some of the malt is distilled in column stills instead of the usual pot still procedure.

What that means?

It’s 100% malt time baby.

(Perhaps that’s why they call it All Malt … duh)

Unlike many of the blended scotches at this price point you get an oily-full mouth-feel instead of some light-weight grain-y wussiness that isn’t sure what it wants to be when it grows up.

The All Malt has a lot going on and it’s a bit of a shape-shifter.

I had several “tasting sessions” before the bottle was empty and each time I was able to pick out something new.

Perhaps the neatest thing about the All Malt is that it feels like the bastard child of an Irish pot-still whiskey and a quality Scottish blend.

It begins with a mysterious nose which leads to a tobacco-smoke cloud wafting over a sea of malty waves on the palate.

There’s also musty oak flavor as if it had been aged in wood barrels crafted from the hull of an old pirate ship.

A really nostalgic whisky, reminds me of cleaning out my grandparent’s attic.

So go pour yourself a long dram and reminisce

Nikka All Malt Tasting Notes

Color: Brownish Copper
Nose: cinnamon, d0rk fruits (plum-y raisin), floral, a hint of Baileys Irish Cream
Palate:  Lovely balance. sweetness, smoke, and oak all nicely represented.
Finish:  A bit too short. An oak overdose up front before it smooths out.

Score 78 / 100

Suntory Kakubin Yellow Label



Suntory Kakubin Yellow Label Review

Distillery: Suntory
Expresion: Kakubin Yellow Label
Region: Japan
Category: Blended Whisky
Age: N/A
ABV: 40%
Price: NT$150 for a 180 ml bottle (About US$5.00)

This is the third whisky featured on our Mission Impossible: Taiwan Midnight Whisky Run series.

In the last post, I mentioned how I was kinda disappointed by the Suntory Black Label (Suntory 43)

Well … The Yellow Label provided some redemption for Suntory.

It’s a smooth sipper that has a tinge of that ‘Irish pot-still goodness’ that the Whisky Jerk so very adores.

For a budget whiskey its got some interesting notes to feast on and it avoids the grainy death toll that often afflicts these cheaper whiskies.

At essentially the same price as the Suntory Kakubin Black Label, this is a far superior whisky.

If you’re making it a Suntory evening at 7-11 definitely spend a few measly extra NT$ and go for the Yellow Label instead of the Black.


Suntory Kakubin Yellow Label Tasting Notes

Nose: Floral, brown sugar rice pudding, grapefruit zest, dried coconut
Palate: Custard, malt, almonds
Finish: Smooth and medium-length.

Score 77 / 100

Suntory Kakubin Black Label (Suntory 43)


Suntory Kakubin Black Label (Suntory 43)

Type: Japanese Whisky
Category: Blended Whisky
Age: N/A
ABV: 43%

This is the second whisky featured on the Mission Impossible: Taiwan Midnight Whisky Run series.

I was under the impression that this would be an upgrade from the Suntory Yellow Label but that didn’t hold true.

For starters, it’s not nearly as nice on the nose.

The lemon ammonia smell reminded me of a temporary summer job that I held as a custodian. 

It’s light-bodied (as expected) but compared with the Yellow Label there isn’t a whole lot of flavorful notes present.

The Suntory Black Label does have one interesting thing going for it– an unusual finish.


I feel your pain my insect friend

It gives you a high-voltage jolt on the tongue and then quickly scampers away.

It’s like licking an electric fly swatter.

Suntory Kakubin Black Label Tasting Notes

Nose: Lemon, Ammonia, Feint Toffee
Palate:  Pipe tobacco, malt, oak
Finish:  Short jarring buzz with a tinge of sherry

Score 71 / 100

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