Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year

World Whiskey Review #29: Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year

Distillery: Blend

Bottler: Nikka

Region: Japan

Price: $40 for 2 Oz

ABV: 43%

Age: 21 Year

Color: 1.2, Chestnut/Oloroso Sherry.


Nose: (according to the wife) It starts off with some fresh pears before going full-on desserts. There’s caramel, crème brûlée, and a bit of peanut butter mousse.

Palate: This is definitely a malt whisky, you get loads of the malt barley up front and center. To go along with the barley comes a note of caramel creme candies and honeydew melon. There’s some black pepper as well. Easy to drink, but not a whole lot going on.

Finish: Short. You get a little bit more of the caramel creme before it finishes with a bit of oak tannins.

Conclusion: For being a whisky so highly sought after, I can’t help but express my utter disappointment with this. While it isn’t a bad whisky by any means, it is also not a great whisky. There is a distinct lack of depth and complexity; I love malt barley but I would never expect a 21 year old whisky to taste almost solely like it. To be honest, there was just about nothing that set this apart (other than the age statement) from some other Nikka bottlings like the Miyagikiyo or even their standard, non-age stated Taketsuru Pure Malt. Would I buy a bottle? Not a chance.

Final Score: 78.

World Whiskey Review #29, Japanese Whisky Review #14, Blended Malt Whisky #7, Whisky Network Review #233


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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