Japanese whisky fans have long been anticipating the arrival of Nikka, a company which operates two separate distilleries in the north of Japan, one (Yoichi) in Hokkaido and one (Miyagikyo) in Sendai, northern Honshu. Thanks to Anchor Distilling, two of Nikka’s malts are making it to the U.S. We finally got to taste the first, Taketsuru Pure Malt, after a sample experience at WhiskyFest last year.
Taketsuru is a vatting (not a blended whisky) of 12 year old malts from both the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries.
This is a quite round and mouth-filling whisky, big and bold with lots of character. Malty grain is the major component — lots of fresh, apple-infused barley, and a body that reminds me of sweetened breakfast cereal. Less Froot Loops and more Corn Pops, perhaps. The finish is slightly honeyed, with very mild smoke, somewhat in the vein of a Highland malt. Lovely balance with a good balance of sugar and grain on the finish. An excellent everyday malt if the price works for you.