Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
- Very complex whisky with vanilla, coffee, rhubarb pie and buttery toffee aromas.
- Alcohol %:
- Single Malt Whisky
- Japanese Whisky
- Bottle Size:
- Wine Code:
- Nikka Whisky
- Other Info:
- In 1918, Masataka Taketsuru, son of a sake brewing family, is recruited by the Settsu Shuzo Company to produce the first authentic Japanese whisky. With a background in chemistry, the young man decides to leave for Scotland, in the aim of discovering the secrets of whisky production. A few months after his arrival, Taketsuru meets Rita Cowan, with whom he immediately falls in love with. Rita becomes his wife, but also his muse.
Two years later, the couple returns to Japan. In 1922, his employer Settsu Shuzo goes bankrupt following a stock market crash. Taketsuru then joins the Kotobukiya group, a beer industry giant later renamed Suntory, for who he builds the first Japanese distillery in 1924.
Some years later, Rita will inspire him to realize his dream: build his very own distillery.
The northern island of Hokkaido is where Taketsuru finds the ideal site for the construction of Yoichi, a distillery built in the purest Scottish tradition. For his first distillery, Masataka Taketsuru sought similar conditions to Scotland, where he had himself learned everything about whisky making.
Yoichi is established in 1934, in the small eponymous coastal city, benefiting from a rough, humide climate. The distillery is located 50km west of Sapporo city, known for its snow festival and host of the 1972 winter Olympics. Originally, the local peat bogs were the source of Yoichi's subtle smoky notes, while the sea breeze leaves its imprint on these whiskies of undeniable character.
To this day, the distillation process has remained very traditional. At Yoichi, the pot stills are still heated by a coal fire, a practice which the Scotts have since given up, as it is difficult to control. However, the very strong direct heat slightly burns the contents of the still at the bottom, giving the whiskies a powerful, spicy character.
The small onion-shaped stills have relatively straight sides, which combined with a descending neck, allows heavier elements to pass into the spirit. This gives the resulting whisky a richness and unctuous texture which are well adapted to the Yoichi's bold style.
A stark contrast to Yoichi's rough coastal conditions, the Miyagi region's rolling hills and peaceful forests are renowned for providing a very pure air and particularly clean water, which convinced Taketsuru after 3 years of searching. The Miyagikyo distillery is built in 1969, in the heart of the natural environment, from which the whiskies draw their softness, their elegance, and purity.
In order to best transcribe the particular location's characteristics, the Miyagikyo distillery benefits from the latest innovations, in order to provide optimal control on the distillation process. Here, the entire process is managed by computers with an extreme precision, in the aim of producing as pure a spirit as possible, while preserving its delicate character. The pot stills are heated by steam, at low temperatures to ensure a soft and gentle distillation.
The shape of the stills themselves is designed to favor elegance. Quite large, they are adorned with a second ring-like cavity above the main body. The heavier elements are cooled in this area and drop back down along the sides, allowing for lighter, refined floral and fruity aromas to rise. The neck here is positioned at a rising angle, again keeping the heavier bodies from passing into the spirit.
Nose: Floral and balanced, with notes of plum jam, cut herbs, rhubarb pie, vanilla ice cream and cold coffee. Palate: Sweet and oily, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, buttery toffee, almond, salty butter, custard. Finish: Good length, creamy, notes of digestive biscuit and rhubarb crumble.
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