My first ever Japanese whisky! It was prominently displayed at De Whiskykoning somewhere in 2006 and after softly calling my name for several months every time I walked by, I decided to pick it up even when it set me back € 70. A massive amount of cash for a bottle I hadn’t tasted before. I still don’t like taking a risk on bottles of similar price.
Back then my collection wasn’t very large so I had no problems opening it up right away and it turned out to be a highly enjoyable whisky. A lot gentler than I expected, though. It was in the period many whisky fanatics have gone through in the beginning of their whisky education. The period in which you’ve just wrapped your mind around peated whisky and want a dram as strongly peated and with the highest ABV you can get your hands on. This meant I had to get used to this one and it took me a few glasses to.
Warming and rich with quite some wood scents. Sherry and a bit of hot red cinnamon. Sandal wood as well, which is something I rather enjoy in Japanese drams. I get sour cherries and orange after a while, and slight hints of peat smoke.
Quite gentle, but a little thin. Watery even. But that’s just the start of it. The flavors get more pronounced rather quickly. There’s a certain heaviness to it with smoke, cinnamon, pepper and again the Japanese oak. Orange and sweet smoke take over after a few seconds, and again the sour cherries and orange.
The finish is very gentle with more tropical fruits involved. Peaches mostly. Not too long and the spicy edges are gone.
I’m not sure which types of casks have been used, but a start on bourbon cask and finish on sherry and mizunara wood wouldn’t surprise. Maybe the blend is made up of those casks or married in them. Who knows… Good stuff nonetheless. There’s quite a lot going on and the flavors are still rather pronounced after 6 years since opening it. The investment was worth it. It’s a bit more expensive at the moment but still worth it. The 21 is only € 15 more expensive though.
Nikka Taketsuru 17, 43%, Blended Malt, available at Master of Malt for € 85.