Initially, the limited Samurai Edition of Nikka Gold and Gold was only available for travelers at restricted locations, which made it an extremely rare find.
The only places you could get it were Haneda or Narita airport, both located in Japan's capital, Tokyo.
In general Japanese Whiskies saw massive growth over the past few years. As you can imagine, that increase in demand often also leads to higher prices.
Especially for rarities like the Nikka Gold and Gold Samurai edition, you can pay up to a couple of hundreds of dollars. So let's move to the review and see what it is about this special military Samurai edition.
The history of Nikka Gold & Gold
Although the Samurai edition looks quite unique and feels like a complete facelift of the ordinary bottle design, it's not the first time Nikka has been selling it
In fact, Nikka Gold & Gold Samurai edition was launched in 1968. However, only a couple of years later, it was discontinued again.
But the bottle design of the military Samurai commander came back when Nikka decided to produce this limited edition version.
I cannot tell you the exact time when they put it back on the market, but it has now been around for several years.
What you should know, though, is that the Nikka Gold and Gold Whisky has traditionally been a budget Whiskey.
With the military Samurai commander armor, they tried to sell it to tourists for a higher price. That's also why it's exclusively sold at the two airports Narita and Haneda. -And that strategy works.
The bottle it comes in is called "Shirobin" (Japanese for "white bottle"), and it does the job. Even if you're not a fan of Whiskey, the extravagant bottle design looks great on any bar shelf.
How much is Nikka Gold and Gold?
If you buy a bottle at the airport, you will pay anything between $40-$60, depending on the location and special promotions. That's not cheap, but considering the quality and design of this edition, it's fair.
By the way, the Samurai armor is solid and quite heavy, and you better remove it before pouring your drink.
If you try to buy this bottle on the internet, you will see prices ranging from $80 up to $500. -Here, I want to remind you again that this is a budget version of Nikka Whisky. So think twice before spending a few hundred dollars on this Whiskey. It might be better invested elsewhere.
Before talking about taste and nose, I want to summarize the details of the Whisky.
Bottle: Gold and Gold Samurai edition
Age: No age stated
ABV: 43% (86 Proof)
Price: $40 - $60
Cask: Blended Whisky from Pot & Coffey still, aged in various casks
Nikka Gold and Gold Whisky review and tasting notes
The Gold & Gold Samurai edition is a blend of Pot still and Coffey still Whiskies. A Coffey still is the column still invented by Aeneas Coffey. It is more efficient in comparison to the traditional Pot still.
The nose of the Whisky is very subtle and clean. You can detect some sweet notes, as well as hints of apple and pear, hints of herbs, and a slight burn from the alcohol.
On the palate, you get a whiff of sweetness paired with fruity notes of apples, pears, and longan. A few spicy notes from pepper as well a slight citrus taste round off the very light taste.
The finish is comparably short and dry. A light warmth and a mix of honey and herbal notes dominate the finish.
I don't think it is a bad Whisky but also nothing that you have to run after. It's also a decent fit for a Whiskey Sour, even though you can get more affordable options for the drink. - If you want to check them out, here's a list of the best Whiskeys for a Whiskey Sour.
Overall, I would drink it if someone would offer me a dram, but it's nothing I would specifically order anywhere.
The Whisky itself is not worth mentioning. Not bad, but too expensive for what you get. Depending on your point of view, the packaging alone could be worth it, though.
The Samurai armor on the bottle will most certainly stand out on your Whiskey shelf. If you can get it at an airport or for a decent price, it might be a good addition to your collection.