Nikka Black Clear

Thanks to /u/ScotchGuyTO for this dram.

A quick recap on my cantankerous position on Japanese whisky: It can be great, it’s so popular that the stuff you can get ahold of without selling a small family sedan typically isn’t.

Typically. Enter Nikka Black Clear, 7-Eleven’s own brand of Japanese whisky, available for less than a 10-spot, and available at each corner in a convenience store that expands your view on the term.

Elaborate and much beloved Japanese 7-Eleven aside, is this just a mixing whisky? Is it just for highballs? Or should this be the bottle you pick up, assuming you haven’t sold off the family sedan?

Let’s see, shall we?

Price: ¥ 770

Region: Japan

Abv: 37%

Colour: 10Y 9/10

Nose: Perfume, butter, fruit

Floral, but in a “that’s not natural” way, butter, and generic fruit. I’m not smelling a ton of hell corn and glue, so that’s a plus versus other bargain bin whiskies.

Taste: Chalk, cracker, brown sugar

Just have to get over the massive white hump of that first note. And wow it’s pushing its way to the front. Time gives you more sugar/molasses/cereal, saving it.

But damn, this is reminding me why I wash my hands after working in front of the class back in high school.

Finish: Perfume, plum, alcohol

The finish is alcohol and fruit. Not off-putting, not on putting as well. Just floral alcohol and plum. And nothing is super strong, just kinda melts into your saliva.

Conclusion: Bit watery, however super easy drinkable. I didn’t hate this. I didn’t love it, but heck, it’s a not-even-legal-abv. A whisky that sells for $8 USD alongside Onigiri and fried chicken in what I can only describe from articles I’ve read and drolled over.

So basically I’m saying this: If you can’t get an interesting whisky on a budget in Japan, and you want to bring something back that won’t be bad, this is it. Either show up with some more money or drink like all the other kings in 7-11.

63/100

World Whisky review #396, Japan review #44, Whisky Network review #1984

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