Taketsuru’s no-age-statement blended malt contains a high percentage of malt from Miyagikyo, with the reminder coming from Yoichi. Aged on average for around 10 years in a variety of different cask types, including some sherry wood for extra richness.
Nose: A strong peatiness is the key here, with a hint of smokiness and a touch of smoke. Reminds me a bit of burning wood shavings. Some iodine (not the seaweed kind), shellfish, and a touch of pineapples, sweet oranges, but with an edge of pepper. Minty.
Palate: The peat is strong right from the get-go, followed by a unique seaweed taste, again like iodine. There is a nice combination of grapes, green apples, mixed with a bit of sherry, chocolate, vanilla, gingery, subtle citrus, and a hint of smoke.
Finish: There is a lot of peat here but it has a nice balance with the other ingredients, with the sweet notes being particularly noticeable for the length of time after the finish. The dryness lasts longer than most other whiskies.
Taketsuru Pure Malt is a very nice blended malt but probably not one I would pour into my collection’s glassware. There are a few unique flavor combinations that really set this one apart from other typical blended malts. And also, the finish is excellent, giving the drinker a longer-than-most experience to enjoy. I enjoyed it as an “after dinner” dram. It is very good, but I personally think the standard Taketsuru 12 is a bit smoother. They have some similar flavors, but this Pure Malt packs a bit more of a punch, while still being quite complex.
A solid blended malt but not something I would spend a lot of money on, as there are others in the same price range that are a touch smoother. But, again, there are a few unique and enjoyable flavor combinations in this one that puts it ahead of most others. The finish is really nice, and lasts longer than most others.
There is no question that Taketsuru Pure Malt is the best in the world. Which the taste and energy it provides, there is no doubt that it is the most welcoming in the market.
This is a blended malt and since I never really had any interest in blended malts I had never tried it before. On a recent trip to the US I found a bottle of it, and I decided to give it a try. I was really pleasantly surprised at how complex and interesting it was. It is a tough whisky to describe because it has a lot of mixed flavors, some of which go well together, while other combinations don’t go well at all.
Nose: Wow, this is a big hit of peat. One of the strongest I have ever smelled on a whisky. There is some smoke, and what I can only describe as a fish smoke. It’s not really that fishy, but it is definitely a different kind of smoke than most whiskies. There are also some sweet aromas such as red berries and vanilla.
Palate: As it goes down it gradually develops. At the start it has quite a lot of spice and pepper. Then there are some peat and oily smoke notes with a few hints of salty seaweed. It also has a mild sweetness which grows as it goes down the throat. I have to say that the growth on the palate is really impressive.
Finish: Now for the fun. The finish on this is an explosion of flavours. At the start it has a lingering sweetness, a lot of peat and the hint of that fishy smoke I get from the nose. The finish has a lot of bitterness as well and some tobacco. Needless to say that it is an interesting and long finish.
All and all a wonderful blended malt with a lot of peat, but with a lot more going on. It is a bit complex and can take a bit to fully appreciate, but I would say that the effort is well worth it. I highly recommend it, especially at the price in Norway, which is about the same as the average blended whisky.
Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt is an intriguing blended malt with an extra twist of quality Japanese malt. The Taketsuru brand is named after Japan’s first whisky-maker, Masataka Taketsuru. In 1918 he married the daughter of a banker who approved an advance to start building a distillery in Hokkaido. Nine years later, he introduced Japan’s first single malt whisky.