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Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt

"Tinned Fruit & Tsukemono"

1 683

@cricklewoodReview by @cricklewood

29th May 2018


Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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The craze for Japanese whisky is still in full swing, some blame Jim Murray's 2014 proclamation that Japanese Whisky was the best in the world as one of the catalysts for this state of affairs, as much as he at times deserves the bashing, we can't blame Sauron for everything.

The reasons are myriad, a burgeoning interest in world whiskys, the rise of whisky as an investment or flippers. I doubt many of these overpriced bottles of Yamazaki Sherry cask or Karuizawa are actually being opened and enjoyed.

Whatever the reason the result is pretty much what one is seeing in Scotland but at an accelerated rate. Expressions losing their age statements but prices remaining the same, ABV's being lowered, Increase of new NAS releases and special releases, an increase in the marketing of grain whiskys.

With the added factor that anything Japanese that can vaguely be passed under the whisky category is instantly pushed onto the market, rice whisky & aged sochu and such, I'm not against these but they are often shamelessly marketed with little regards to their quality.

I know it sounds like a lot of nagging or nit-picking but sadly it's just the facts.

On to today's whisky I've had occasion to try this a few times and it scored very well with club members the first time around. It is a house blend of the different types of malt whiskies that are produced at both Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries...maybe.

Nose: Tinned fruits in syrup, there is a rounded malty side, coffee cake soaked in a sherry syrup. There is a dark note like charcoal and umeboshi, buckwheat honey, it's got a oxidized/sulfury side a hint of a sherry influence.

Palate: Pickled ginger on arrival, sweet and creamy malt and in the background earthy peat (not at all Islay like). A bit of heat despite the low strength, complex sweetness like honey then mineral and slightly waxy, there is some tannic oak, something like sandalwood and again that feeling of tinned fruits from the nose.

The main tastes fade quickly from the tongue but there is a creamy sweetness that remains on the finish.

While the combination of flavors is somewhat singular it doesn't dive deeply enough into those slightly exotic notes (rare woods and that weird pickled plum dark note) to make a lasting impression.

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Nozinan commented

Great review!

Were you this cynical before you met me?

5 years ago 0

MadSingleMalt commented

None of that sounds like mere nagging or nit-picking to me!

5 years ago 0

OdysseusUnbound commented

Stating a fact (e.g. the increased preponderance of lower quality/higher-priced NAS replacing age-stated whiskies) is not nagging or nit-picking. This one costs approx. $81 CAD where I am, and I can get (and probably will get) an age-stated vatted malt/pure malt/blended malt whisky in Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Old for about $79 CAD. This Japanese whisky earns a "hard no" from me. Thanks for the review.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

@MadSingleMalt, just don't want to sound like some whisky troll or that bastard who can't drop it.

I'm just weary of the state of Japanese whisky, you should see the absolute and random garbage our state run monopoly has been bringing in. Zero info or provenance on the labels, brands that no one had heard of just 3 years ago

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

Mackstine commented

I don’t think you’re being nitpicky or nagging either. You’re echoing the sentiments of a lot thoughtful whisky fans round the world, and since the trend seems to continue, this discussion probably won’t go away anytime soon.

Be proud to be the cranky ol bastard who won’t drop it. You will be the one who steers a budding enthusiast to rightfully ignore the call of Sauron and come away with a Laphroaig 10 CS, an Eagle Rare 10, some 18 yr IB or single cask and a glencairn for the price he would have paid for a Nikka 12, and that ought to feel good yes? I prefer to read reviews and converse with the troll who can discern and discuss whisky rather than the ignorant status seeker whose only tasting note is “Smooth”, or worse yet - one who publically applauds the offending producers in hopes of securing free samples or having the chance to best buds with the heads of Diageo and Suntory. Troll away, friend. Hopefully one day we’ll be heard.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

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