Yoichi Distillery was founded by Masataka Taketsuru in 1934, after he parted ways with his mentor and partner Shinjiro Torii.
Single malt whisky was launched exactly 50 years later under the name of Hokkaido, when Japan experienced its first domestic whisky boom. Asahi Breweries acquired Nikka Distilling Company in 2001 and changed the brand name to Yoichi. Today the distillery is equipped with six stills and produces 2 million liters of spirit per annum. In the fall of 2017 Nikka unveiled two limited editions (3500 bottles of each expression) of Yoichi finished in ex-Moscatel and ex-Rum casks. While the former was reserved to the domestic market, the latter destined for Europe and America.
Nose: fruity, moderately smoky and medicinal, bananas, pineapples, coconuts, caramel and delicate spiciness in the background.
Palate: sweet and spicy, caramel, vanilla, ripe plums, pineapples, cinnamon, cloves, candied ginger and distant whiffs of smoke.
Finish: fairly long, with notes of caramel, tropical fruit, mulling spice and fading hints of smoke.