Then there were two. Miyagikyo is Nikka’s second distillery, opening in Sendai in 1969. A place of serenity, completely enclosed by mountains at the junction of two clear rivers. A combination of clean water, suitable humidity and crisp clean air make for the perfect recipe of this mild malt whisky. In respect of the surrounding nature, Miyagikyo uses steam heat during the distillation as opposed to coal, giving it a completely different flavor profile. The nose is fruity and complex with notes of marzipan, orange peel, raisin and balsamic vinegar. A smooth yet spicy palate reveals hints of raisins and sherry, with spice and wood influences. The finish is long and dry with earthy notes, cinnamon, chocolate and smoke. Very different from the character of Yoichi, this whisky is distinctively mild and fruity compared to its sister locations.