Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year old
6th Jul 2014
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Tasting Notes by hunggar
The Taketsuru 17 is a gem. As of now, it’s ranked 23 in the list of top whiskies on this site. But it’s worth noting that it’s the only non-single malt on the list, disregarding bourbon. So how is it that a blended malt has found itself such an honourary place among the best of the best? Honestly, I don’t know. All I can say is that the folks at Nikka certainly know what they’re doing. Here are the tasting notes:
Nose: Raisins, dates, sherry, maple syrup, dark honey, seared oak, banana-nut, buttered bran muffins, marmalade, ginseng root, and some mild herbal notes.
Palate: Beautiful, silky texture with a paced arrival. I get Raisin Bran cereal, banana-nut, soft spices, herbal notes, oak, ginseng, rich caramel, and some fruit-forward sherry fruitiness.
Finish: The spices build to a not-too-heavy but thoroughly enjoyable crescendo. A light, silky caramel presence sets in, and blankets the other notes of banana-nut, seared honey, Japanese oak, damp earth, soy sauce, herbal notes, and gentle smoke. Medium length and very enjoyable.
This whisky treads the difficult line of being great for connoisseurs and novices alike. It’s beautifully complex but also extremely approachable. The balance and structure are near-perfection, with all the notes sounding off in total harmony. Truly, nothing about the Taketsuru 17 is off-key. However, one could be justified in complaining about the low-ish abv. As MaltActivist mentioned in his review, this whisky would absolutely soar at cask strength. While it does offer a healthy kick given its 43%, I think a significantly higher abv might elevate it to being nothing short of magnificent. But as it stands, this is still one of the finest non-single malt experiences to be had out there. Extremely recommended.