The Pure Malt Black from Nikka, should it have been a Scottish product, would have to be called Blended Malt Black. It is composed with mostly Yoichi malt whisky, but upholstered with peated malt of which it is being whispered that this might be Islay malt. I last tried this in 2012 and thought it was okay. I wonder if this batch, more than four years later, is still good.
On the nose I get a mix of exotic fruit like mango, pomelo and a slice of pineapple, but discrete peat stops it from becoming truly fruity. The peat gives it a dirty edge. But after a few moments something candy-like and some bubblegum appear.
On the palate, the peat is a lot more outspoken and a grand smokiness develops, giving the fruit even less room, but it does work. It is nicely oily and very spicy. Think pepper, ginger and a bit of nutmeg. And salt! Yes, suddenly a brackish note appears, giving it a somewhat maritime character.
In the finish, the peat slowly fades away, offering the final word to the sweet, yellow fruit.
A lovely and very affordable bottle of Japanese whisky, that will please lovers of peat, I’m sure.