Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt

Nikka: Taketsuru: Pure Malt (Japan Blended Malt: No Age Statement: 43% ABV)

Visual: Bronzed gold.

Viscosity: Thin fast streaks.

Nose: Gingerbread. Alcohol burn. Sultanas and perfume. Rose wine. Dried blueberries. Shortbread. Water brings out almond notes.

Body: Smooth. Honey. Warming. Caramel. Lime cordial. Drier base. Water adds a treacle touch and sweet orange.

Finish: Subtle liquorice. Honey. Slight alcohol. Malt drinks. Lime cordial. Rice crackers. Waters adds treacle notes.

Conclusion: Ok, first note: I am not going to go into the whole “no age statement controversy” thing here. I can’t be arsed really.

Note 2: How can something with an initially quite alcohol touched aroma be so smooth on the main body? For that matter how does something with such a smooth texture manage to feel so heavy after it has gone?

Note 3: I am mildly addicted to making numbered lists of notes.

Anyway, this is surprisingly heavy for a vatted malt – and with more rough edges than I would expect for the style (Maybe it is due to the lack of age st…ok,ok, just kidding). Now, this is an interesting thing for me, as I appreciate the smooth character of vatted malt, but one reason I oft go with single malt is the intriguing rough edges you can get. At the front it hits all smooth caramel and delivered as I would expect from a vatted malt – the back is where it hits heavier with treacle than that general, well, whisky feel. That kind of middle of the road Highland malt sweetness, with a touch more alcohol feel than is good for it.

So how well does it work? Ok, but not much more – I like rough edges, but despite being interesting, these rough edges don’t bring the charm – they are more the rough edges of a standard whisky. The front of this is nice, but nowhere near, say artists blend.

I blame the lack of age st…ok that joke got old quick.

It is ok, but you can get far better for your money.

Background: So, this is a no age statement whisky. Apparently there is a bit of controversy about non age statement whisky. I say apparently as I managed to mostly miss the blazing firestorm of discussion that has been the internet for years now. Meh. I have opinions on the whole thing, but frankly it has been beaten to death by now. This was drunk while listening to some 8 Bit Zoo by Snooglebum! Which may ruin any metal or punk cred I may have had. This had been found at Independent Spirit.

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