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Taketsuru NAS was released in September 2013 as a Pure Malt, sherry-wood finished limited edition of 2,900 bottles. The term “Pure Malt” indicates that this does not contain any grain whisky. Taketsuru is named in honour of Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka, one of the two major Japanese whisky-producing companies.
The nose is a panoply of sweet and fruity flavours: dried raisins, milk chocolate, oranges, caramel, some fudge, and a touch of rubber. Everything is superbly balanced and unblemished - very alluring and simply a pleasure!
The palate is medium-bodied, sweet and just a bit peppery. Liquorice and cinnamon are there, alongside oranges, prunes, and abundant sherry.
The finish is of medium length, bitter and ends on oaky dryness.
I was blown away by this NAS bottling, especially by the nose! In my opinion this easily beats the 12yo and the 17yo Taketsuru expressions that I know quite well. While both palate and finish are excellent, the one thing that puts this one apart is indeed the nose, the quality of which is astounding given that this is a no-age statement whisky. In view of the quality it is hard to believe that this retailed for just 3,500 yen in Japan. Hat tip to the guys at Nikka!