Masataka Taketsuru, Nikka’s founder and Father of Japanese Whisky,
A half-litre bottle from Nikka’s excellent Yoichi distillery, this is a blend of single malts from different years and consequently has dispensed with the age statement.
Lovely and smooth, Peaty Fresh summer straw opens the profile with muscat following. Light, with an insidious peat smoke depth. Impressive.
Pleasant peaty notes and smokiness originating from the traditional direct coal-fired distillation as well as a briny hint delivered by the sea breeze during the aging process.
Masataka established Nikka because he was determined to introduce his fellow Japanese to the joys of authentic whisky. In the decades since, as his company developed and the enjoyment of whisky became a fixture in Japan, he remained relentlessly passionate about quality. Never did he allow it to be sacrificed in favor of efficiency.
Nose: Full-bodied, smooth. A mellow peat softly coats the aromatic palette at first, growing more powerful with time, as smoke, soot and salty notes transcend the initial nose. The aromas then evolve towards candied citrus fruit (lemon, orange), black liquorice and spices (nutmeg, ginger), and opens up with roots and dried twig aromas. Heady and floral (carnation, iris), it grows increasingly complex.
Palate: Firm, powerful. A well-balanced attack gives equal footing to aromas of peat, smoke, spices, fresh fruit (melon, kiwi) and nuts (almond, walnut), which it delivers in spades. The mid-palate starts off with chocolate notes, but the peat soon takes the lead once again.
Finish: Long, silky. Extremely mature, it overflows with ripe fruit (pear, Mirabelle plum, apple). The peat starts taking on an herbaceous and malty character, while the salty flavours gives the finish plenty of depth and coastal freshness. The final nose offers menthol, spicy (coriander, dill) and earthy (leather, chestnuts) notes.