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Nikka Black Special review

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RUSH HOUR dram from Japan

Black Nikka Special whisky from Japan

Nicknamed as “Bearded Black” Black Nikka Special has been in the market since 1965. A Japanese classic blend distilled in two-column Coffey stills. For a blended whisky, it was fairly drinkable, a househould dram suitable for people on the go.

Nikka Black Special is a takeaway whisky, best enjoyed at a party or in rock concert. Or while in a hurry, like when you’re battling with Yakuza mobsters in Hong Kong. A true Rush Hour whisky, funny and vibrant.

It is not the greatest dram, you’ll ever taste but it is decent enough for everyday use. I can imagine taking a bottle of Black Nikka while hurrying to a bus, going to some rock festival or to house party.

Surely I can drink this at home relaxing, but there’s so many other drams for that purpose as well.

Nose: Sweet with nuts and little bit of refreshing vanilla.

Taste: The sweetness goes away and is replaced with spices and salt with some bitter notes of dark chocolate.

Finish: Creamy with some malt, medium long.

Balance: Very lively dram that offers a decent mix of sweet and spicy notes. No eureka moments but a steady and fairly nice blended whisky.

Colour: Dark amber
Nose: 18  |  Taste: 18  |  Finish: 17  |  Balance: 18
Overall score: 71

Distillery: Yoichi distillery
ABV: 42%

Check out my review of Nikka Blended Whisky as well.

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.


  1. Luke says:

    Coffey is the type of still used, not a grain.

    • Johannes Lindblom says:

      That’s indeed true, thanks for the correction. I don’t know what happened there, must have wrote this in a hurry.

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