On my scorecard, the oldest Nikka Yoichi edged out the Lagavulin by two points. It was a tally echoed by the group, which placed Lagavulin second, the 12-year-old Yoichi third and the Balvenie fourth. The 10-year-old Yoichi came next with the Cragganmore in last place.
The 20-year-old Yoichi is an immense and powerful drink.
It retails for a steep $250. That drops considerably, to $87, for the 12-year-old and $56 for the 10. That compares to $90 for the Lagavulin and $55 for the Balvenie.
The Japanese offerings are not widely available in Canada.
After the skirl of bagpipes faded and the blind taste test of single-malt whiskies was over, the winning dram was clear—a 20-year-old Nikka Yoichi, distilled in Hokkaido, Japan.
Asked which Scotch was her favourite, her voice quavered: "Can you ask a mother, 'Which of your children is your favourite?' Each whisky is my favourite. Each has its own character."
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