Taketsuru 21 was crowned World's Best Blended Malt Whisky at the 2010 World Whiskies Awards. It really is a fabulous whisky, and for those of you who enjoyed the brilliant 17 year old this offers just a bit more richness, a little hint more chocolate and coffee.
Nose: Plenty of oak influence with notes of prunes and soy sauce. Cocoa, espresso beans, almost a touch of anise.
Palate: Spices, black pepper, loads of tangy sherry, hints of turmeric and other spices. Then ground ginger, mixed peels, hints of marmalade.
Finish: Long, good oaky grip with a perfect balance of spice.
A truly masterful blend
Smooth As Silk
I was fortunate enough to pick up both the 17yo and the 21yo on a trip to Tokyo. Even there, it's not easy to come by, but for whatever reason, the prices were astoundingly low -- though limited to the purchase of one bottle only. That's fine. The 17yo was 3500 yen (£19), the 21yo was 6000 yen (£32). Meanwhile, the Yamazaki, Hibiki, and Hakushu were all fairly expensive -- presumably on account of the greater name recognition. For example, the Yamazaki 25 was a staggering 250,000 yen (£1350), and was sold out. Even the 21 was 50,000 yen, and the Hibiki 17 (which I very much like) was 20,000 yen, so the Taketsuru 21 for just 6,000 was a no-brainer. I was able to get a sample and that sealed the deal, but really, for £32, there wasn't much chance I wasn't going to buy this bottle. The shop had just gotten their stocks the previous day, I was told, after being sold out for over four months. Like they say, timing is everything.
And not only was the Taketsuru 21 an amazing value, it's really just a fantastic blend. It has a smooth, pleasant viscosity when sipped neat, but adding a bit of water really develops both the nose and the flavour. There's a sherry influence I quite like (I'm a big fan of Glenfarclas, so I'm keen on sherry casks for whisky in general), and though it's hard to pinpoint what it is in the palate of the Taketsuru, there is something distinctly Asian about the whisky. It's just a lovely, lovely whisky, warm and spicy with just a hint of sweetness. It's super smooth, well-balanced, and pure pleasure to drink... truly one of my favourites, and I have close to 15 bottles of different Japanese whiskies at home.
10th May 2015
This is my favorite Japanese Whisky! Nothing bad about it save that MOM is out of stock.
25th December 2014
Consummate scotch whiskey doctor
i was introduced this 21 yr old while visiting Yokahoma and to my surprise found it to be not only excellent in body and taste but will rival most all of the high end brands.
25th November 2014
I'm living in Japan at the moment and was lucky enough to go to the distillery/museum and picked up a bottle of this. Fantastic drink!
Great tour of the distillery as well! Free entry and free taster of their 12 year, 17 year and apple wine!
Sipping on a glass of it right now!
20th November 2014
This truly is the level Japan is at now..
The nose says Japan in a glass..
I could harp on all day about this..
Not got a problem with the price..
Just a wonderful dram....
Steve Mcgiff, st.Ives Cornwall...
28th May 2014
So good I think it's the best of the month
Craftmansship at it's best
This is truly an amazing taste, so much so that they won best whisky review of the month (<a href="http://www.whiskeyreviews.org/best-whiskey-of-the-month-april-2014/" rel="nofollow">Best whiskey of the month – April 2014</a>) on my site and in my opinion is one of the best in the world!
Try it - you will not be disappointed!
11th April 2014
I ordered this bottle after I had a dram of the 17yo and was just expecting more.... which is what I got, except for peat, which is very pleasent. When you had the 17yo and then go over to the 21 it is blowing your feet. The 17yo is exceptional, the 21yo is outstanding. It is so smooth, fruity with oak and a hint of peat.
This one is the best bottle I have ever had!
8th February 2014