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 pears, apricots, demerara sugar, plums and lemon zest. These initial lively notes are followed by vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and a hint of that signature peat. Notes of mint and marmalade start to emerge, as well as bitter dark chocolate, aniseed and marzipan. Completing the nose are notes of a oaky nature, beeswax and a floral note. The palate: is replete with those pears, apricots and brown sugar, surrounded by vanilla, cocoa (90%) and coffee beans. That smokey peat note is much more apparent on the palate and is nicely complimented by notes of lemon zest, banana candy and marzipan. There’s some lovely subtle notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, coupled with black pepper and a waxy note. The palate is completed with notes of sherry, ginger and oranges. The finish: long, creamy and smooth with lingering sweet notes and smoky oak.
The verdict: This 21-year-old Nikka Taketsuru is a fine tribute to Mr. Taketsuru. It embodies everything that is so good about Japanese whisky, its delicate, complex and so well-balanced. It’s got so much depth in flavour and character that’ll keep you going back for more just to see what other flavours you can uncover. That said, I did prefer the 17-year-old expression that bit more. Bottled at an ABV of 43% – this 21-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 21-Year-Old Japanese Blended Whisky is available to buy online or in-store at any well-stocked whisky shop, for approximately £350.
For more information on this 21-year-old Taketsuru Pure Malt, visit the official Nikka website.