[Review] Single Malt Miyagikyo Apple Brandy Wood Finish

The year 2020 marks the 100th wedding anniversary of Nikka Whisky’s founder Masataka Taketsuru and his wife Rita.
In 1934, he founded Dainippon Fruit Juice Company (now Nikka Whisky Co., Ltd.). Since whiskey takes time to mature, products made from apples supported the early days of the company. This is a limited-quantity product made by finishing Yoichi and Miyagikyo, the crystallization of Taketsuru’s dream, in apple brandy barrels to express his deep respect for apples. Limited edition of 6,450 bottles.

1. Manufacturer

Nikka Whisky Co.

Establishment1934 (Showa 9)
Head office location4-31, Minami-Aoyama 5-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8616, Japan
Owned distilleriesYoichi Distillery, Miyagikyo Distillery, Ben Nevis Distillery

2. Distillery

Miyagikyo Distillery

Address 1, Nikka, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture 989-3433, Japan
Start of operation 1969

It has been about 30 years since the first distillery was started in Yoichi, Hokkaido. Masataka Taketsuru, who believed that “whisky becomes richer and more flavorful when it is blended with raw materials from different distilleries,” desperately needed a second distillery. Taketsuru chose Miyagi Gorge in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. It is a lush green gorge blessed with two clear streams, the Hirose River and the Shinkawa River. When Taketsuru visited this place for the first time, he drank some of his Black Nikka in the clear water of the Shinkawa River and confirmed the taste. It is said that he decided to build the distillery on the spot. The pride of the Miyagi Gorge Distillery is its “café-style continuous distiller. At the time of its introduction, this distiller was already considered obsolete. Because it was an old-fashioned distillation machine, it was prone to leaving behind miscellaneous flavors, but Taketsuru chose to use this old-fashioned distillation machine because the technology could transform them into the original aroma and sweetness of the ingredients. At the Miyagikyo Distillery, people who have inherited Taketsuru’s passion are still continuing to make various attempts to make whiskey taste better.
The distillery has been described as “Highland Yoichi and Lowland Miyagikyo”, comparing it to the climate of Scotland, where Yoichi is “masculine” and Miyagikyo is “feminine”.

Image credit: Miyagikyo Distillery|NIKKA WHISKY

For more information on the Miyagikyo Distillery, please see this article.

3. Product name and photo

Single Malt Miyagikyo Apple Brandy Wood Finish

4. Characteristics

The fruity taste of Miyagi Gorge is combined with the sweetness of apple brandy.

After normal aging, it is further aged for about 6 months in barrels where apple brandy was aged for more than 28 years. The fruity flavor of the single malt Miyagikyo and the sweetness of the apple brandy are combined to create a sweet aroma, yet the refreshing sweetness and soft woody astringency are in harmony.

 

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaCalm, woody, sweet and gorgeous aroma of oak.
TasteFreshness of apples, sweet and sour taste reminiscent of fruitcake.
AftertasteThe bitterness and sweetness of the oak lingers slowly with a spicy cinnamon aftertaste.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content47% alcohol by volume
alcohol categorySingle malt whisky
Barrel typeApple brandy barrels
Contents700ml
Number of bottles sold6450 bottles
Suggested retail price16,500 yen (tax included)
Release dateMarch 24, 2020

5. Awards received

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

 

 

 

Product nameSingle Malt Miyagikyo Apple Brandy Wood Finish
Volume700ml
Suggested retail priceTax included: 16,500 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is Around 25,000 yen to 28,000 yen The resale price on Mercari is as follows. (*As of 4/6/2021)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 22,600 yen, highest bidder: 28,800 yen, average bidder: 25,678 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days from 4/6/2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

It is also sold on mail order sites at Around 35,000 yen to 50,000 yen It is also sold at (*As of April 6, 2021)

.

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR SHINKAI”, which is operated by this site, it is offered at 1 glass, 45ml: 5,500 yen, 30ml: 3,740 yen, 15ml: 1,870 yen (*As of 4/6/2021) Bar Shinkai, which is operated by this site, offers it at

7. Summary

Miyagikyo is characterized by its sweet aroma. It has a mellow fruit sweetness and a strong apple aroma. Drink it straight and you will feel the sweetness even more. It also has a stronger vanilla flavor than Yoichi. Drinking it on the rocks, the sweetness comes to the fore even more. If you drink it on the rocks, the sweetness comes out more. Even if you drink it with soda, the sweetness does not overpower the apple aroma and sweetness. In terms of overall sweetness, Miyagikyo is by far the best. If you want to feel the apple, I would recommend the Miyagikyo without hesitation.

If you want to feel the apple, don’t hesitate to try the Miyagikyo.

Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, we highly recommend these books.

(1).Whisky Galore Vol.29 December 2021 issue

In the December 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, we report on 11 Japanese craft distilleries, including some that are open to the public for the first time, under the title of “Japanese Whisky Craft Frontline,” the first of three consecutive issues. Why did the popularity of Japanese whiskey and the craft boom occur? We will examine with interviews. Chichibu Distillery / Chichibu No.2 Distillery / Mars Shinshu Distillery / Mars Tsunuki Distillery / Kanosuke Distillery / Hioki Distillery / Ontake Distillery / Osuzuyama Distillery / Kaikyo Distillery / Hanyu Distillery / Konosu Distillery

created by Rinker
¥1,320
(2022/11/30 17:12:45時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(2). Japanese Whisky as an Education for Business

This is a book written by Mamoru Tsuchiya, a world-famous whisky critic and representative of the Whisky Culture Research Institute, titled “Japanese Whisky as a Culture that Works for Business” .
The book covers the basics of whisky, the introduction of whisky to Japan, the birth of Japanese whisky, advertising strategies and the rise of Japanese whisky, and the current rise of craft distilleries. This is a book that summarizes Japanese whisky in a very easy to understand way.

(3). Whisky and I (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, devoted his life to brewing whisky in Japan. This is a revised and reprinted version of the autobiography of a man who simply loved whiskey and talked about himself. The book vividly depicts the days when he went to Scotland alone to study as a young man and overcame many hardships to complete Japanese whisky, as well as his companion, Rita.

created by Rinker
¥1,294
(2022/11/30 14:30:43時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(4). A Letter of Challenge from a New Generation Distillery

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whisky boom, what were the managers of craft distilleries thinking and what were their thoughts as they took on the challenge of making whiskey? This book tells the stories of 13 craft distillery owners, including Ichiro Hido of Venture Whisky, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

created by Rinker
repicbook(リピックブック)株式会社
¥1,870
(2022/11/30 19:19:28時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(5). Whiskey Rising

This is the Japanese version of Whisky Risng, published in the US in 2016, with much updated content. Not only does it describe the history of Japanese whiskey in detail, but it also includes data on all the distilleries in Japan, including the craft distilleries that have been founded in recent years. The book also includes descriptions of the legendary bottles that have been released, as well as information on bars where Japanese whisky can be found.

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