Happy Wednesday everyone!
This week we're heading back east to Japan for a taste of Whisky from the Nikka Distillery.
In 1918, Masataka Taketsuru embarked alone on a long voyage to Scotland. In this distant land the secrets of whisky-making would be imparted to this young Japanese man, and here he would meet the woman who would become his bride.
Masataka Taketsuru was born in the coastal town of Takehara (now Takehara City) about 60km from Hiroshima City. The Taketsuru family owned a "sake"(Japanese brew made from fermented rice) brewery that goes back to 1733-- and continues to produce fine sake today, in 2004. Taught early that sake making is a painstaking fine art, Masataka studied diligently and trained at university as a chemist, preparing to carry on the family trade.
However, Scotch whisky captured the young man's imagination, as well as the interest of few other enterprising Japanese of that day. He decided to dedicate his life to whisky.
Try and get your hands on Nikka from the Barrel
Nose: Spicy and peppery, but there’s a richness behind it, with spicy oak and soft orange fruitiness, and soft vanilla notes from the bourbon cask.
Palate: Grainy sweetness and candied orange peel, quite rich, accompanied by rich cinnamon and clove.
Finish: Great balance, this really needs a little water to allow the flavours to unfurl.
Comment: Characterful stuff, this whisky has plenty of personality, and shows a delightful balance between the spicy pepperiness and rich citrus fruit.