Japanese Whisky Lovers Rejoice, Nikka Is Bringing Back It’s Age-Statement Single Malt

Over the past decade, Japanese whisky exploded in popularity and age statements disappeared from labels. Distilleries blamed unexpected demand outpacing supply for this, and began releasing non-age statement expressions to keep the whisky flowing. But Nikka, the second biggest Japanese whisky brand after Suntory, just announced that it’s bringing back a 10-year-old age statement to its Yoichi single malt—something Japanese whisky fans will be very happy about.

Nikka first removed its 10, 12, and 15-year-old age statements from Yoichi nearly a decade ago in 2015 (Yoichi is one of the two distilleries operated by Nikka, the other being Miyagikyo). Then in 2019, Nikka removed the 17, 21 and 25-year-old age statements from its Taketsuru Pure Malt, a blend of malt whisky from different distilleries. So the return of Yoichi Single Malt 10-Year-Old is a big step for Nikka, which increased production by 20 percent starting in 2019 and announced plans to surpass its 1983 peak by the year 2025.

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And, according to the brand, the 10-year-old age statement also commemorates the government designating ten buildings at the Yoichi Distillery as “Important Cultural Properties” of Japan last February. “This designation helps ensure we will pass on the history of Japanese whisky to future generations,” said global marketing and sales GM Emiko Kaji in a statement. “To celebrate this special honor, we welcomed the return of Nikka Whisky aged statements and released the Yoichi Single Malt 10-Year-Old, a new expression created by the current blenders.”

In addition to the NAS Yoichi single malt that first became available in 2016, there have been some other whiskies of note to come from the distillery over the past few years. The Apple Brandy Barrel Finish was released in 2020, finished in apple brandy barrels from Nikka as a tribute to the apple products that were made by the company to support it while its first whiskies matured in the 1930s. And the first Discovery Series whisky came out in 2021, a Yoichi single malt that was unpeated as opposed to the smoky whisky usually produced at the distillery.

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Single Malt 10-Year-Old is bottled at 90 proof, and has an SRP of $175—but don’t be surprised if, like other age statements Japanese whiskies, you find it being sold for more than that. The plan is for this to be an annual release in limited quantities, and at the moment it might be hard to find online. But check out ReserveBar for Nikka expressions from Yoichi and its other labels, including this $20,000 bottle of the limited-edition 2021 Miyagikyo Single Malt Peated.

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