Watches & Whisky: Nikka Miyagikyo 10 + Rolex DateJust 41


Balance: The Miyaikyo distillery (pronounced mee-yag-ee-kyo), was found in 1969 and is owned by the Nikka Whisky Distilling Company – who also own other well-known distilleries. The location of Miyagikyo was chosen by Masataka Taketsuru, who founded Nikka in 1933. In case you were unaware, Mr. Taketsuru is a legend in the Japanese whisky industry having helped to set up the country’s first single malt distillery of Yamazaki in 1923, before going out on his own, forming Nikka and building Yoichi. While this 10-year-old Miyagikyo is of course one of the younger expressions available, it still has tonnes of suave notes and depth.

On the nose: a beautiful waft of sweet orange, vanilla pod and a dark sherry note. Notes of toasted almonds will start to emerge, followed by notes of peaches, aniseed, pear drops and an interesting musky note. After a few swirls in the glass, notes of toffee, lemon, caramel and a chocolate note become more pronounced. On the palate: it’s a little dry but the texture is oily and that note of sherry is ever-present. Notes of pears, coffee, vanilla and toffee start to appear. A sweet note of honey is detected on the palate, alongside almonds, aniseed and a kick of spices. Completing the palate is a hint of coconut, chocolate and oak. The finish: long, with green herbs, lingering spices and nuttiness.

The verdict: I’m always intrigued by Japanese whisky and just how they manage to produce whisky with such depth in flavour. This 10-year-old Miyagikyo has a lovely combination of notes that just seem to keep expanding. It is a full-bodied whisky that is perfectly balanced and has a little less peat than most other Nikka expressions available.

Info: ABV 45% in a 70cl bottle

Precision: The Rolex Datejust, a timepiece that has been part of the Rolex portfolio for decades and this year saw Rolex introduce an updated version of said piece. There were quite a few releases this year from Rolex but this is one watch that perhaps went under the radar. The Datejust 41 isn’t a new watch by definition, as Rolex introduced this watch in 2016, but it’s the first time it comes in steel in this case size.

The Datejust 41 comes with either a smooth or a fluted bezel. The latter is not in stainless steel, but rather white gold (which has always been the case). There are a couple of versions of this watch in various metals and dial colours, but the watch you see here is the reference 126334 with a steel case and jubilee bracelet, a white gold fluted bezel, and a silver sunburst dial.

The Datejust has always been available in 36mm, a case diameter Rolex still makes available today. Though larger options have always been a request of customers and Rolex heeded this request when they introduced the Datejust II (in a 41mm case). However, the new Datejust 41 enjoyed a serious renovation and its case got slimmer, making it a more understated yet still prominent wristwatch.

This new, sleeker 41mm stainless steel case now houses the impressive calibre 3235. Not only is this an in-house chronometer-certified movement, but it is also guaranteed to -2/+2 seconds per day, and boasts a 70-hour power reserve. Rolex precision at its utmost best.