Thanks to /u/cpselfbuilt for this sample… twice.
Long story short, originally I was sent this as a mystery sample. I tried it, and drank it too quickly. Screwed up. Didn’t get it correct at all.
Nikka Taketsura 21 is a blended malt. Well, a bleneded malt that won World’s Best blended malt in 2010.
It’s the upper level that most of us hit for the Taketsura range. I think there’s rare ones out there, however I can’t find any to prove that and am most likely just imagining things.
So it’s a blend. And I’m re-re-reviewing it, because mysteries and what not. Sounds fun. Let’s not screw up this time, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 2.5Y 8/8
Nose: Butter, nuttiness, lime, orange, smoke
Reminds me of a British Jaffa cake. I personally hate them. Orange and Chocolate together is an abomination. This is less chocolate, more orange, citrus, and butter, with some nuttiness to denote brown butter but not quite as floral.
Nice amount of smoke. Decent butter. Still expect more from a 21 year old, even a blend. Actually given that most blends have great noses, this isn’t that complex.
Taste: Wood, cinnamon, bread, butter, caramel, melon
Lots of flavour compared to the nose. Good amount of bread and butter, and a nice mouth feel.
Beyond that, it’s pretty standard. Some spice in there, which is nice, but still not getting the value out of this older dram.
Finish: Butter, orange, pepper, ginger, lemon water, smoke
Finishes with a lot of citrus. Not much pepper, but the ginger is needed. I like the smoke.
Ends like Johnnie Walker Black. Take that as you may.
Conclusion: When I drank this blind, I gave it below a 60, drank it too quickly, picked up notes of wood glue (on the taste, I’ll let you figure out which teacher wasn’t looking), and overall didn’t like it.
This time I drank it slowly, calmly, and overall did a better review. This has a lot of smooth, not crazy, and overall pretty boring. If you like orange, and are trying to find something slightly better than Johnnie Walker Black, then it’s for you.
Me personally, not so much.
World Whisky review #195, Japan review #30, Whisky Network review #933