Team Spirit Review: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year Old

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Spirit Details: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year Old

  • Location: Japan
  • Style: Japanese Whisky
  • ABV: 43%
  • Proof: 86
  • Price: $330.00
  • Bottle Date: N/A
  • Source: Developing Palates

John-McTavish

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Appearance

The Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year Old is packaged in a plain white box but with rich details on every side. One is the story of Masataka Taketsuru, on another the story of his Scottish wife Rita and one with the details of the whisky and the combination of whiskies that create this pure malt. The bottle has a screw top, which is fairly typical for Japanese whisky. The spirit pours a rose gold color.

Appearance

The appearance of the Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year Old in the Glencairn is of a medium to dark amber.

Aroma

Nosing the whisky in my glencairn glass, I’m able to pick up melon, bubble gum, citrus, banana and some baking spices I can’t identify.

Aroma

The aroma is awesome. It is very inviting, complex, balanced and nuanced. Rich oak, sweet and ripened prunes, dark chocolate, light soy sauce and a slight minerality.

Flavor

The flavor here is quite decadent. Sweet candy, with a mild spicy finish. Delayed saltiness at the end of each sip, with hints of seaweed and smoke. There’s some clover or honeysuckle that joins in as my palate starts to tune in, and there is a citrus that becomes more defined as orange as the tasting progresses.

Flavor

Loads of espresso beans, dark chocolate, slightly bitter rich and old oak. Peeling back a bit more, a wave of dried orange peels and a soft black pepper spice forms.

Balance

All of the flavors here harmonize beautifully and reach a peak strength just a touch under medium intensity. Nothing jumps out as sharp or more defined than anything else. Very well balanced.

Balance

The balance is amazing. All the flavors on the nose and palate are perfectly balanced with no obstruction from the ABV.

Finish

The finish is good, beginning with a seaside like saltiness. After the saltiness fades, long delayed baking spices. As the tasting progresses, a drying aspect to the flavor of old oak.

Finish

The finish has a great slick oiliness fully coating the palate. In terms of flavors, light smoke, rich oak and coffee beans that lingers for minutes.

Overall

The Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year Old is heavenly and I fell in love with the whisky on my first tasting experience. Elegant, nuanced, rich and intense. For a 21 year old whisky, the profile seemingly hasn’t faded at all. This whisky certainly showcases the nuance, balance and depth of flavors that Japanese whisky has to offer.

John
Jiunn
Very GoodAppearanceGood
GoodAromaVery Good
Very GoodFlavorVery Good
Very GoodBalanceAmazing
GoodFinishGood
GoodOverallVery Good

Overall

Yet another excellent Japanese whisky from Nikka. From all facets of the tasting (aromas, palate, finish, balance), the harmony and the oiliness of a well aged Japanese whisky are some of the key winning factors. For such a lower proofed whiskey of 86 proof, it’s amazing how much fullness of flavors there are in the Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year Old (especially the coffee and dark chocolate). It really is a shame on the high demand of Japanese whisky since the MSRP of $330 is quite high (and that’s if you can even find it at MSRP). But it is absolutely worth every penny. That’s also to say with all whisk(e)y, it is only worth MSRP and no more.

John McTavish

SCORE

7.67

Cost/Point

$43.04

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

8.25

Cost/Point

$40.00

Scoring System

Team Spirit Review: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year Old
Jiunn LiuTeam Spirit Review: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year Old

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