[Review] Single Malt Yoichi

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Nikka WhiskyYoichi Distillery

The ” Single Malt Yoichi ” was newly assembled in the search for a malt whisky that could only be produced at the Yoichi Distillery.
It was released on September 1, 2015. The core of the product is the weight and aroma of straight-head bot still and direct coal-fired distillation.


1. Manufacturer

Nikka Whisky Co.

Establishment1934 (Showa 9)
Head office4-31, Minami-Aoyama 5-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8616, Japan
Owned distilleriesYoichi Distillery, Miyagikyo Distillery, Ben Nevis Distillery

2. Distillery

Yoichi Distillery

Address 7-6 Kurokawa-cho, Yoichi-cho, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido 046-0003, Japan
Start of operation 1936

Yoichi Distillery in Hokkaido is known as the Scotland of Japan. The distillery was established in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru, also known as Masan, whose predecessor was Dainippon Fruit Juice Co. Masataka Taketsuru believed that a place with a cool and humid climate similar to that of Scotland, a rich water source, and clean and crisp air was essential for ideal whisky production, and he chose Yoichi, located at the base of the Shakotan Peninsula, west of Otaru, from among various candidate locations. Masataka Taketsuru’s goal for his first distillery was to create a heavy and powerful malt whisky. Masataka Taketsuru’s goal for his first distillery was to create a heavy and powerful malt whisky, and he was determined to replicate the whisky-making methods he had learned at the distilleries of Scotland without compromise. The symbol of this commitment is the ” straight head pot still ” and direct coal distillation “. The result is a heavy, fragrant, heavily peaty raw material that produces a unique single malt with a peaty aroma and a salty taste. This distillation method is based on the method used at Longmorn Distillery, where Taketsuru himself studied. If it is necessary to make real whisky, we will protect it even if it is inefficient. Such passion, which can be said to be the origin of Nikka Whisky, and Masataka Taketsuru’s dream have been handed down to this day.

3. Product names and photos

Single Malt Yoichi

4. Features

Heavy strength, peat and tidal notes. The essence of concentrated Yoichi malt.

This is a unique single malt with a strong assertiveness of heavy peat type of raw material, with a solid body and woody oak flavor added by new and sherry malt barrels, and a peaty and salty aroma.
When I put my nostrils close to the glass, the first thing I smell is malt. The aroma of burnt barley, reminiscent of toast, is the smell of malt that has been heated by direct coal distillation, which is rare in the world. The fruity aroma reminiscent of banana and mango comes from the special yeast used by Nikka. Since the age limit has been removed, the strength of the young sake is combined with the mature flavor. On the palate, the peat, smoke, and tide aromas that were never in the forefront of the aroma begin to assert themselves strongly. The aroma of the heavy peaty barleywine that rises to the nostrils has a massive flavor that is truly unique to Yoichi. There is a light astringency and bitterness, but the sweetness from the oak barrels fills the mouth and lingers gently, and the aftertaste is extremely smoky.

4-1. Tasting Notes

NoseHarmonious combination of soft barrel-aged aroma, sweetness of malt and rich fruit aroma. Mild and pleasant peatiness.
TasteOak sweetness and a firm peaty taste. A harmony of maltiness and orange-like fruit.
AftertasteWarm oak sweetness and smokiness that lingers slowly.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content45% alcohol by volume
by alcoholSingle malt whisky
Barrel type
Number of bottles sold
Suggested retail price4,620 yen (tax included)
Release dateSeptember 1, 2015

5. Awards

2017 ISC Gold Award

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price


Product nameSingle Malt Yoichi
Suggested Retail PriceTax included: 4,620 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 4,000 yen to 6,000 yen. (*As of April 7, 2021)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The lowest bid price on Yahoo Auction is 3,500 yen, the highest is 6,150 yen, and the average is 4,548 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days since April 7, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Also sold at mail order sites for around 5,000 yen to 6,000 yen. (*As of April 7, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

At “Bar Shinkai”, which is operated by this website, one cup, 45ml: 1,540 yenis offered.

Information about “BAR Shinkai”
Japanese Whisky Dictionary operates three BAR Shingai stores in Minato Ward, Tokyo. In addition to the Japanese whiskeys introduced on this site, they also hand...

7. Summary

It is quite peaty, so beginners may find it hard to drink it straight. However, once you get used to it, it is a whisky that can be enjoyed on the half-rock or in a highball. Of course, you can also drink it straight.
It is an interesting and unique whisky because it still has the scent and sweetness that is typical of Yoichi, so you can fully enjoy the Yoichi flavor.

It’s a very interesting and unique whisky.

[Review] Single Malt Yoichi Manz...
Single Malt Yoichi is further aged in Manthanilla barrels aged for 50 years, bottling without cooling filtration.


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 whisky 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

(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 whisky 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.

(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 whisky? 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.

(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 whisky 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.

新海 博之

Born July 17, 1981 in Kitahiroshima City, Hokkaido, Japan
After graduating from university, joined NTT Data Customer Service Corporation as a new graduate.
2010: Opened "Azabujuban BAR Shinkai" → 2016: Developed specialty "Yakuzen Curry" → 2018: Opened "Toranomon BAR Shinkai" and in 2019 "Shibadaimon BAR Shinkai" → 2020: Started web media "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".
We will daily communicate the appeal of Japanese whiskey as something we, as bartenders, can do.

新海 博之をフォローする
Japanese Whisky Dictionary