Originally, the limited Samurai Edition of Nikka Gold and Gold was only available for travelers at limited locations, making it an extremely rare find. The only places where you could get it were Haneda or Narita airport, both located in Tokyo.
In general Japanese Whiskies saw tremendous growth in the past few years. This 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 find out 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 sells this: Nikka gold & gold Samurai edition was launched first in 1968. But only a couple of years later, it was discontinued again.
But the military Samurai commander came back when Nikka decided to produce this limited edition version. I don't know the exact time when they put it back on the market, but it's been around now for several years already.
What you must know is that the Nikka Gold and Gold Whisky has traditionally been a budget Whiskey. So what they try with the military Samurai commander armor is to sell it to tourists for a higher price. That's also the reason why it's exclusively sold at the two airports Narita and Haneda. 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 should best be fully removed before pouring your drink.
If you try to buy this bottle on the internet, you will see prices ranging from $80 up to $500. -I want to remind you once more that this is a budget version of Nikka Whisky. So think twice before spending a few hundred dollars for this Whiskey. It possibly might be better invested elsewhere.
Before talking about taste and nose, I want to summarize the details of this particular Whiskey.
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 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, there is also 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.
Overall, I don't think it is a bad Whisky but nothing that you have to run after. A decent fit for a Whiskey Sour and I would drink it if someone offers 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. But the packaging alone could be worth it. 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.