Review: Nikka Super Rare Old
In Japan, anything with a name like “Super Rare Old” is considered “old man whiskey.” That’s definitely what “Super Nikka,” as it’s known colloquially, is, though not in the same way that many austere whiskeys can be.
Super Nikka, which was introduced in 1962, is a blended whiskey, and the company doesn’t provide any real information about what goes into it. So, here’s a look at Super Rare Old, going in blind.
The name is actually misleading: this whiskey is neither super, nor rare, nor old, evidently. On the nose, a slightly smoky influence lords over what is otherwise woody and sharp. The palate couldn’t be more divergent: Shockingly sweet on first sip, it bombards the palate with notes of vanilla nougat, tropical fruit, and cotton candy. The sweetness lingers for a long while — I would happily believe this was doctored with sugar — but when it loosens its grip, that gentle smokiness comes back into focus. This has the unfortunate impact of turning that smoky sweet combination a bit astringent on the finish, with notes of canned green beans and aluminum foil lingering on an otherwise straightforward, ungodly sweet beauty.
86 proof. Not sold in the U.S.
B+ / about $50 / nikka.com