Tracing the footsteps of its founder, the father of Japanese whisky Masataka Taketsuru, the Japanese Nikka Whisky distillery brings the Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky as a homage to this great visionary. In 1918, Taketsuru went by himself to Scotland to unveil the secret of whisky making, becoming the first Japanese ever to master this complex art. After enrolling at the University of Glasgow and taking chemistry courses, he apprenticed at three Scotch distilleries. Upon returning to Japan, Kotobukiya Limited —what is today Suntory Distilleries— hired him to build the Yamazaki distillery as he was the only Japanese who knew how to produce whisky at the time.
After his ten year contract with Kotobukiya, Masataka Taketsuru decided to go on his own and built his first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido. The environmental conditions of Yoichi were in many ways similar to those of Scotland with a cool climate, crisp air and appropriate humidity. Finally in 1940, the first whisky from Nikka was launched. Today, Nikka Whisky operates out of two distilleries, the Yoichi and the Miyagikyo —in Sendai— built in 1969 as the second distillery of Nikka Whisky to make whisky different from Yoichi. Along with the different terroir, the different distillation method of Miyagikyo creates distinctive malt whiskies. Miyagikyo’s coffey pot stills are much larger than those at Yoichi with different shapes such as a bulge neck and ascending lyne arm.
Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt is a range of blended malt whiskies that highlight the complexity and preciseness of blending. Without a doubt, this whisky is one of Nikka Distillery’s signature products. Not only the Taketsuru Pure Malt is a perfect blend with a gentle malt flavor, but its fruitiness and extremely well-balanced taste makes it a perfect entry point whisky into the world of Nikka. The Taketsuru Pure Malt is also available in two aged vintages, 17 years old and 21 years old. Extremely pleasant to the nose and with a golden light amber color, Taketsuru Pure Malt is extremely smooth and aromatic on the palate.
Slightly peaty but ultra smooth, the Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt is very different to other Japanese whiskys we’ve had from the Suntory Distillery. Perfectly balanced, this whisky pays perfect homage to the father of Japanese whisky who mastered the art of making whisky at a very early age. Undoubtedly, without Masataka Taketsuru, the joy of sipping a fine Japanese whisky would’ve never been possible. While the Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 years old was awarded in 2018 the award for the World’s Best Blended Malt Whisky, this Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt is not that far off. An incredible Japanese whisky seriously underrated and for those that are in the know.
Sticker Price $190 USD –AP not included. For more info on Nikka Distillery click here.