The Miyagikyo distillery was built in 1969 as a counterpart to the Yoichi distillery. Miyagikyo produces fruity and delicate malts. As with all of Nikka's whiskies, balance and complexity are sought in the production. Nose: Japanese plum, peat, honey, soft fragrant incense smoke, lavender oil. Light and fragrant like perfume. Reminds me a lot of Suntory Hibiki. Alcohol is detectable if one delves a little too far, which is not something I usually detect. Also picking up something quite distinctive that Ive only got with Japanese malts so far - an almost indescribable note that I can presently only describe as oak that has been steeped in water with violets and other floral-perfumed extracts and then dried. With water: Fruity sherry, floral notes emerge but leave the other notes by the wayside. Palate: Immediately prickly and spicy, clings to the tongue delivering a big hit of spiced fruit and citrus oils with a good helping of brine. This is a robust dram. Im surprised in fact, the strength in delivery seems greater than the bottled strength of 45%. With water: Delivery tones down to an acceptable level, oak and white pepper coming through at the expense of citrus and losing some of the mouthfeel. Finish: Immediate bitter citrus upon swallowing, followed by fruit and development into an unexpectedly big phenolic peaty punch that builds and builds - and then a reprieve; slowly trails off over a couple of minutes supported by continuing background threads of fruit and wood spice leading to a dry conclusion. With water: Shorter and toned down in all departments.