Japanese whisky maker Nikka has released its limited-edition Discovery for 2023, blending four distinctive whiskies from four iconic distilleries.
Riding on the success of the experimental nature of Nikka’s Discovery Series, which focuses on the three core ingredients of whisky – water, yeast and grain – this year’s release is a play on the grain component of the spirit.
It comes after Nikka experimented with peat for their 2021 Discovery editions, and their 2022 Discovery combined a variety of yeasts from Nikka’s culture collection.
These rare and one-off releases showcase the diversity of Nikka’s liquids and innovation, providing insight into Nikka’s experimental whisky-making.
The Discovery Series release for 2023, “The Grain”, blends grain whiskies from four Nikka distilleries, including Coffey Grain and Coffey Malt at Miyagikyo and Old Coffey Grain and Coffey Malt from the closed Nishinomiya Plant. A new barley grain whisky from Moji Distillery and barley, corn and rye whiskies from Satsumastukasa Distillery have also been included in the recipe.
“This year, the Nikka Discovery Series release is all about the grain,” said Nikka Whisky Brand Ambassador Marcus Parmenter.
“The beauty of the Discovery Series is its experimental nature and ability to push boundaries to discover new, different whiskies to share and enjoy.”
Only 20,000 750ml bottles of Nikka Discovery 2023 – The Grain (ABV 48%) have been made.
There are only 500 bottles available in Australia, with half for sale at Vintage Cellars and half headed to premium whisky and cocktail bars.
“This is an exquisite and rare whisky, making it an ideal choice for a unique Christmas gift for that special someone,” Parmenter said.
“Skillful blending of the four-grain whiskies has created a sense of harmony between the distinctive batches, which each have their own unique properties and flavours.”
“With a refreshing scent reminiscent of marmalade and cider, The Grain is woody and vanilla-like but with a sweet, fragrant aroma of toasted grains or even cookies.
“On the palate, it has the gentle spiciness of cinnamon, coupled with the sweetness of corn and a slight bittersweet, yet refreshing, after-taste.”
Established in 1934, the Nikka brand was initially known as “Dai Nippon Kaju” (大日本果汁) – which translates to The Great Japanese Juice Company – after founder Masataka Taketsuru and his wife Rita financed the company by selling apples.
Parmenter, who has worked through Australia, Scotland and Ireland selling, tasting and reviewing whiskies, said demand for quality whisky products in Australia had been extraordinary, and he expected the latest Nikka Discovery release to be no exception.
Nikka is currently sold in more than 40 countries, with Australia one of its most established markets.
Nikka’s Discovery Series 2023 – The Grain retails for $270 a bottle and is available from 22 November at Vintage Cellars and selected First Choice stores nationally.