We’ve had our fair share of Nikka here on BEXSONN.com and yet, an expression we’ve haven’t posted many tasting notes on is the Taketsuru Pure Malt range. A tribute to Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japanese whisky and founder of Nikka. This pure malt whisky is a blend of casks hailing from Nikka’s two distilleries in the north of Japan: Yoichi and Miyagikyo. Luckily enough for the Nikka master blenders, they have a large variety of different whisky styles to rely on, allowing them to achieve a high level of balance and complexity, combining fresh and fruity notes of youthful whiskies with the rich evolved character of older ones; aged for a large part in ex-sherry casks.
On the nose: is an enticing waft of rum and raisins, as well as toffee, caramelised apple, vanilla and lemon zest. These initial notes are closely followed by star anise and aniseed, alongside butterscotch, peaches, marzipan, stem ginger, mint and some light spices. Rounding-off the nose are notes of lavender, beeswax, walnuts, incense, green herbs and a hint of smoke. The palate: is replete with those raisins ,toffee, peaches and apples, with plenty of peat. These notes are followed by marmalade, honey, salted caramel, butterscotch and black pepper. Notes of pear drops, cinnamon and bitter dark chocolate start to emerge, along side a hint of herbs. Completing the palate are notes of lemon zest, some tropical and waxy notes The finish: medium, sweet, salty and peppery, with lingering notes of smoky peat.
The verdict: As we already know, the 17-year-old expression of Taketsuru pure malt is a well established, award-winning drop of liquid gold. The 12yo is of equally high quality, with nicely balanced fresh notes, which is a result of vatting Yoichi and Miyagikyo single malts. The nose is rather delicate but the palate packs more of a punch than expected. Bottled at an ABV of 40% – this 12-year-old Taketsuru Pure Malt in my opinion, doesn’t need any water at all. However, if you want to access the plethora of notes on offer – leave it to breathe for 3-5 minutes.
This Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12-Year-Old Japanese Blended Whisky is not available to buy anymore but can be purchase at whisky auctions, for approximately £120.
For more information on this 12-year-old Taketsuru Pure Malt, visit the official Nikka website.