Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Taketsuru Pure Malt Sherry-Wood Finish 43% abv

Nose: Seductive and purely gorgeous. One of my top 3 sherry matured/finished malts for this year. Very alluring - or perhaps teasing with Ribena, Seville oranges, rich dark Christmas cake, grated coconut mixed with chopped cherry surrounded by dark chocolate, and rich runny honey. Then, hints of blueberry yogurt or is it boysenberry vanilla ice cream - both perhaps? Aromas continue to flourish with Pedro Ximenez sherry, cherry brandy with cola, and kirsch soaked raisins. Caramelized sugar is in plenty with vanilla confectionary, red toffee, and suggestions of apricots, sweet BBQ sauce, and nutmeg - definitely spurts of eggnog. A no-age with such complexity - I'm loving it!

Taste: Silky and elegant. Blood orange slices glazed with spiced honey. Cherry brandy, kirsch, spicy fruit mince pies, Dr.Pepper soft drink, ginger bread, cinnamon strawberry jam and coconut in bitter chocolate. Just like the nose there is an abundant profile on the palate: liqueur soaked raisins, raspberry cordial, maple syrup, red jelly beans, red toffee, and Pedro Ximenez sherry. 

Finish: Relatively long on honey glazed blood orange peel, bitter chocolate and spiced cherry.

Comment: Unfortunately this has long disappeared from shelves, even I cannot access another bottle, well if I want to pay double or triple the original price I can on the resale auction scene (outturn of 2,900 bottles). This stuff is too good to be true, the "finish" is truly amazing - the word "finish" is such an understatement. This does not taste like an adolescent whisky that has spent the last of its life briefly maturing in sherry casks...more like its spent the majority of maturation among them. Every glass gets better and better. This now takes my "best all-round cost performing whisky under 4,000 yen" award, and it truly leads among the no-age-statement (NAS) expressions. To those who are considering putting it on the resale market: do yourself a favour and drink it!


  1. I truly hope the success of this one spurs them to do a permanent line for the sherry wood. too often the sherried offerings are too expensive.

    1. Many of us share your thoughts Andy. In my opinion I believe it is highly unlikely however, there could be a possibility that Nikka (Asahi) may just do so if there is not a lot of success with the transition from the Takesturu 12yo to the NAS. If there were to ever be a perminant release of a Sherry Wood finished Taketsuru I'm confident to say it will be a little more pricey than this current release and most likely younger malt would used. Although this number is a NAS I strongly believe it is not young, it presents itself so well indicating it has spent far more time in a cask than your average vatted NAS. Let's hope...I'd love another as mine is going a little too quickly.