So you've heard that Japanese whisky is quite popular these days. You're right; it is. But while the mainstream choice is always going to be Suntory, it's Nikka that is quietly bringing the goods to your local boutique retailer. Founded by Masataka Taketsuru in 1936, the Nikka whisky company is one of Japan's best kept secrets (at least among Americans). Taketsuru studied whisky production in Scotland during the 1910s and brought that knowledge back to Nippon to make Scottish-style whisky at home. Nikka's Pure Malt Taketsuru is a marriage of single malts from both the Yoichi distillery on Hokkaido, and the Miyagikyo distillery near Sendai. Using a formula of different flavors - sherry, malty, vanillic - made from whiskies aged in different types of casks, the aromas are heady and full of oily grains. The palate is soft, supple and fruity with a shift toward sherry and vanilla at the back. Bring this to a party and you'll be the star. Most people have never had it, so pour it blind and watch them guess that it's Macallan.
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By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
I was pretty bummed to hear that the U.S. market would not be getting the 12 year Taketsuru any longer and skeptical that a no age statement replacement would be acceptable. I was wildly mistaken. While the 12 year seemed safe and predictable, there's something wild and untamed about the NAS. While it doesn't have an age, the supplier says it's around 10ish -- I do think it's got more depth and complexity than the whisky it replaces. Hopefully they'll be able to keep this in good supply 'cause this is solid drinking for a good price.
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