The Japanese Whisky Seen At Costco For A Bargain

nikka whisky from the barrel
nikka whisky from the barrel - Peter Austin/Shutterstock

Costco members already know what a great deal they're getting when they sign up for the membership, but whisky lovers have something new to get excited about. Nikka Whisky From the Barrel is one of the best-selling Japanese whiskies on the market for good reason, and some Costco shoppers have started to notice the bottles popping up on the store's shelves at affordable prices. It's not available everywhere in the U.S., so you'll have to check with your local Costco.

Nikka From the Barrel (as it's often called) is an interesting member of the Japanese whisky family for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it's technically not a Japanese whisky at all. Back in 2021, Japan updated its regulations of Japanese whisky, intending to protect the Japanese whisky industry from imposters who were looking to cash in on the Japanese whisky boom. One of the new requirements stated that the contents of Japanese whisky must be fermented and distilled exclusively in Japan.

Nikka From the Barrel is a blend of over 100 different batches of various malts and barrels, including old bourbon barrels and sherry barrels. This blend is artfully combined to produce a flavor profile similar to the deliciously raw flavor that a master distiller enjoys straight from the barrel, but a small percentage of those batches are distilled outside of Japan, which means it doesn't legally qualify as Japanese whisky under the new regulations.

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Nikka From The Barrel Is A Top-Tier Whisky Made Affordable At Costco

nikka whisky in bottle and glasses
nikka whisky in bottle and glasses - Jim Cumming/Shutterstock

Regulatory confusion aside, there's plenty to love about Nikka From the Barrel. The first thing that stands out is the bottle itself, which has a remarkably understated persona. In bold, all-caps typeface, you see the name of the whisky, the 51.4% ABV disclaimer, and that's about it. There's no age statement (which is unusual for the genre), no fancy gimmicks, just matter-of-fact labeling.

That minimalist marketing belies a bold and refreshing sipper that has risen to the top of the Japanese whisky scene in the span of a few short years. The bottle debuted in America in 2018, riding the Japanese whisky craze that swept through the U.S. over the past 10 years. It's become so well-regarded that we put it at the top of our list of the 12 best Japanese whiskies earlier this year.

The name is a little misleading as "from the barrel" doesn't have any specific meaning the way that other barrel-related terms do. It reflects the desire to create a commercial whisky that conjures the same raw flavors you get to experience fresh from the tap. Costco has plenty of whiskies to choose from and even produces its own blends from time to time, but getting wholesale prices on such a high-quality whisky is a real treat. Prices will vary, but $20 below retail seems typical.

Read the original article on Tasting Table