Reviews: Nikka Taketsuru 12 and 21

img_3609Nikka Taketsuru 12

Appearance: 1.2, Chestnut

Nose: Lots of honey and malt, menthol, empire apples, a floral note that almost comes across like fresh dryer sheets. The profile is somewhat shallow in depth.

Taste: White fruits and moderate wood spice on the arrival, a slight tartness, honey, under ripe banana. Fairly one dimensional really.

Finish: Quite short and light, malty honey, white pepper. I almost get something that comes across almost like a hint of smoke. Frankly, not sure if this malt is smoked, or maybe it’s cask influence.

Notes: Two more heavy hitters from the Japanese world of whisky. If you didn’t read my previous review, I have been ultimately pretty let down by Japanese whiskies. I find they come across as fairly one dimensional, over-engineered, and usually really blow up in the finish department. For what this whisky is, it’s fairly decent. I would put it on par with other staple entry level malts (Fiddich/Livet 12, etc). However, in most markets, this is 50%+ more expensive, which I just don’t see as justifiable, considering what you are getting in the bottle.

Score: 80/100

Nikka Taketsuru 21

Appearance: 1.4, Tawny

Nose: Leather, old elegant oak, brown sugar and creme brulé sweetness, caramel pecan ice cream, toffee, cola cubes, with a hint of menthol.

Taste: Great mouth feel; rich, dense, and sumptuous. Some resinous oak, pancake syrup, cherry tobacco, rich red fruits, toffee and maple syrup.

Finish: A bit of a let down; quite short. I get an almost slightly musty wood note, with some golden syrup, and again, as with the 12, a hint of smoke.

Notes: What a shame; this whisky was heading for low 90’s until, like most Japanese whiskies, it absolutely disintegrates in the finish. This one has great elegance and weight on the palate, with a fair amount of complexity, but is ultimately done in by it’s finish.

Score: 87/100

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