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Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year Old


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@hunggarReview by @hunggar

6th Jul 2014


Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

Related Nikka Taketsuru reviews


Victor commented

Nikka Taketsuru 17 yo is truly a gorgeous whisky, though I don't know why the category of "blended malt" should seem so very far away from "single malt" as a flavour style. It is still all barley-malt whisky. Now if this Connosr crowd ever brings back onto the 50 top highest rated list true blended whisky based on barley-malt, whether from Scotland or elsewhere, that will be radical. At one time The Bailie Nicol Jarvie blended Scotch was on the Connosr top 50 rated list. I am not holding my breath about a blended barley-based whisky coming back onto that list anytime soon.

9 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

@hunggar great review as usual. We both seem to have found very similar flavors and looks like we gave it basically the same score.

Lovely blend this and I agree with @Victor that blended malt should not be so very far away from single malts given it's basically all barley-malt whisky.

9 years ago 0

Pierre_W commented

Wow, another enthusiastic review of Taketsuru 17yo. I am saying this because this one has never managed to capture my imagination. I loved the NAS sherry-wood finish that was released in Japan in 2013, but apart from that Taketsuru has not been successful in impressing me. Admittedly I have not tried the 25yo nor the 35yo - might they be even better?

9 years ago 0

hunggar commented

@Pierre_W, I've never tried any Taketsurus older than the 17, although I have a friend who absolutely adored the 25.

@Victor and @MaltActivist, I simply said it's worth noting. To say that it's worth noting the difference isn't to imply there is a HUGE difference. Just a point of interest that speaks to the quality of this particular whisky.

9 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Is the 21 better? Where I live, it is only $20 more expensive

9 years ago 0

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