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96 points

Yoichi 1988 single cask, 62%

Though aged in virgin American oak, it’s distillery character that’s in charge here; a fully expressive Yoichi. Rich, mysterious, layered, mixing rich fruit compote with scented coastal smoke (ozone, tar, soot) alongside masses of vetiver and cigar humidor. The palate is oily and immense, with fluxing layers of sweet fruit, oily peat, salt, and ink; camphor, flax seed, and in among the smoke, apple mint. Long, insanely complex, and jaw-droppingly good. This will go down as a classic. €185

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

95 points

Yoichi 15 year old, 45%

Nikka’s first distillery is located in the eponymous town on the western coast of Hokkaido. Here, power is the key. Deep and rich with a distinct oiliness — somewhere between linseed and cod liver — there’s also plenty of smoke in the mix as well, and a little hint of black olives in brine with ripe apples lurking behind. I hate making comparisons between Japanese and Scotch single malt but if I was forced to, Yoichi reminds me most of Springbank (edging into Longrow). Water dampens the personality too much for me; best have it full-on and uncompromising. Rather than the palate showing a slow procession of flavors along the tongue, this is a layered whisky; coal-like, oily, and richly fruited with a distinct saltiness on the sides, ably demonstrating that Japan has almost as much variety on offer as scotch. £76.95.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2010)

93 points

Yoichi Apple Brandy Barrel-Finished, 47%

Yoichi Apple Brandy Barrel-Finished bottle. Gentle aromatic peat smoke, straw, ruddy red apples, and soft sponge puddings. There’s a dry spicy edge to the peat smoke that makes it really quite exquisite. Apples browning in sugar, iced chocolate cake, and luxuriously creamy, it becomes oily with a lengthy phase of active spicy pepper, oak, and smoke, though the creaminess returns if you give it long enough. A smoky aftertaste, with malt and cocoa powder.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

92 points

Yoichi Rum Wood Finish 2017, 46%

Sooty charcoal aromas with a sweet edge of mango and other tropical fruits mingle with coriander seed and cardamom. It tastes of ripe melon, pear, and mango, with pepper, aniseed, and a strong seam of smoky oak char. An extra burst of fruit in the finish, with sweet peat smoke. If you enjoyed the rum-finished expressions of Kilchoman or Bunnahabhain Moine, this one’s for you. (3,500 bottles; sold as a set with Miyagikyo Rum Wood Finish 2017) €395/set

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

92 points

Yoichi Single Malt, 45%

Yoichi age statements are gone for now, but if the whisky stays this good, I can live with that. Black earthy peat, smoldering fires, a turned-out pocket of briny seashells, whole lime, lemon twist, sugared orange, ground ginger, and licorice. Silky smooth, with light, fruity sweetness developing into tangy Spangles, kiwi, and lime juice. The smoky peat is the weft woven through the fruit structure’s warp. The finish is insanely long: menthol, peat, and leather.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

91 points

Yoichi Non-Peated, 47%

With its heavyweight aromas and thick creamy mouthfeel, this wonderful debut of the Nikka Discovery Series offers an unconventional glimpse into whisky making at Yoichi, and it’s a journey worth following. Golden syrup pancakes, citrus peel, vanilla, egg custard with nutmeg, and fresh barley aromas precede dense layers of fruit and cream on the palate, with nectarine, apricot, marzipan fruits, crystalized citrus, nippy pepper, caramel, vanilla, and a bright zesty finish. (2,820 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2022)