On the nose, massive notes of prunes and sultanas. Dark stewed fruits are also present. Wood fragrances can also be detected. With water, the nose softens with notes of maple syrup on pancakes. Fresher fruit notes such as raspberry also develop to form a rounder and softer background on the nose.
The palate is punchy and extremely oily in texture. The sherry influence in this is the defining feature of this dram, thus notes of raisins, coffee and cacao beans are present at the foreground. With water, the profile sweetens and...ferrero rocher! Nutty chocolate mousse enveloping all corners of the mouth.
The finish is long with lingering notes of wood spice, dark chocolate, and grass in the morning.
This cask starts off intimidating and with its flavoured locked away due to its high abv, and you can definitely sense the 60% abv when nosing it neat. However, once you add water and give it time, the flavours in this become more ascertainable and accessible.
Given that these are currently fetching insane prices, I cannot recommend this bottling as this cask is quite one-dimensional. Out of the Nikka's Japanese distilleries, I much prefer Yoichi because the character of the spirit often gets to shine through. This is not the case with this Miyagiko since the sherry influence is so overwhelming that it completely demolished any standing ground for the spirit (as apparent from the colour of the bottling: soy sauce).
This is a good quality sherry-bomb. Nothing more, nothing less.