Taketsuru is a Japanese Pure Malt from the Nikka stables, composed with single malts from both Yoichi and Miyagikyo. The age statement versions (12, 17, 21, 25 and 35) are long gone – or, if you do find them, prohibitively expensive – as Nikka stopped producing them. Until further notice, only the NAS release is available. So I am very glad that my pal Peter has an open bottle and offered me a sample.
Round nose on tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, passion fruit, oranges), joined by some pipe tobacco and some chocolate with praline filling. Quite some nuts. Creamy and sweet. A drop of balsamic, a drop of broth and a drop of blood. A trace of woodsmoke and a dusty element that I cannot quite pinpoint. Delicious.
On the palate the malt develops to becomes nicely sweet and fruity on the one hand, but also immediately spicy on the other. Tropical fruit is now supported by some plums and grapefruit, walnuts and fresh figs, while black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom offer up a spicy prickle. Some lapsang souchong tea. The trace of smoke becomes pretty big.
And just when you think this blended malt has given all it has to give, a beautiful fresh note of menthol appears in the medium long finish.
If single malts are instruments and blends thus a symphony, then this is a masterpiece. The Seventh of Nikka. I actually like the sound of that, too. Thx, Peter!