Nikka 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.
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.