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Taketsuru 21 year-old belongs to Nikka’s core range of blended malt whiskies. The term “Pure Malt” indicates that this does not contain any grain whisky but malt whisky from the Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries vatted together. Taketsuru is named in honour of Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka, one of the two major Japanese whisky-producing companies.
The nose is light and fruity. There is banana, orange peel and hints of peach, next to vanilla, honey and fudge. A delightful maltiness underpins the whole.
The palate is medium-bodied and silky. Sweet and fruity flavours are all over the place here: vanilla, honey and coconut, together with pineapple, oranges, and bananas. Spices have crept in along the way, and pepper and mint are now quite prominent.
The finish is quite long and a bit dry. Flavours of ginger and mint now appear, followed by cinnamon and peanuts.
By all means this is a great blended malt whisky. My favourite part is the nose that impeccably combines a variety of fruity flavours. The palate is unexpectedly silky – which I enjoyed – and retains the fruitiness from the nose, however later on gets spicy and eventually quite dry – which I liked less. I think that while Taketsuru 21 year-old undeniably demonstrates Nikka’s craftsmanship, it lacks the complexity and depth of Nikka’s single malt range. Still, this provides for a great drinking experience.