I can’t believe that I’m about to recommend a Malt that’s not from Scotland…. I couldn’t really take anything other than Scotch Whisky seriously until we were introduced to Japanese Whisky and more specifically Nikka Whisky. What an idiot for thinking this, they’ve been making whisky for as long as many of our distillers and are a proud whisky producing nation like ours. The company was established in 1934 after the founder Masataka Taketsuru returned from Scotland having learnt from the experts everything about the art of distilling and whisky production. Nikka have two distilleries, Yoichi in Hokkaido and Miagyikyo in Sendai, both brilliant single malts using traditional methods and creating thrilling varied styles. My Malt of the Month is one of their most celebrated malts and was created to give you a profile and cross section of flavours produced from both of their Distilleries. Nikka From the Barrel (£38). Comprised of blended single malts from both the Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries along with an element of grain whisky, it is finally matured in first-fill bourbon casks. Deep, bright gold appearance. Aromas include toasty cereals, straw, cocoa, pear and spices, all beautifully intertwined. A huge, spicy entry is semi sweet with stewed pear, dried apricot and a chewy texture. Very well balanced at cask strength. Drying pear, spice and vanilla aftertaste.