Review: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12 Years Old

Review: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12 Years Old

Nikka Taketsuru 12 years oldJapanese 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 throughout with a good balance of sugar and grain on the finish. An excellent everyday malt if the price works for you.

80 proof.

A- / $64 / 

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

1 Comment

  1. Neill Graham on January 3, 2021 at 7:16 am

    Nikka Taketsuru was the very first single malt whisky I ever tasted. It was a gift given to me in a flask without markings. I marvelled at the leathery smoky flavour and asked my benefactor what this was. I was bowled over to learn that this was one of the Japanese single malts that was taking the world by storm in the mid 2010s. I then embarked on an investigation of the single male scotch world to compare and have never looked back.

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