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Nikka Taketsuru 21 Year Old

(70cl, 43%)

Nikka Taketsuru 21 Year Old

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Taketsuru 21 Bottling Note

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.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

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.

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Nikka Taketsuru 21 Year Old Reviews


So powerful yet so smooth. Notes of caramel, coffee, peat, vanilla, chocolate

18th December 2017


I am a huge fan of the little brother (Taketsuru 17 yrs). This just appeared in my local specialist liquor store and having been voted best blended malt in the world in 2010, I just had to try it.

Wow! This just slips down frighteningly easily. It has everything the 17 year old has (perfect balance between a light smokiness and sweet sherry notes, complexity and delicious soft spices) and adds another dimension in terms of richness, smoothness and extra malty, chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavour. The finish is probably the best of any whisk(e)y I've ever tried (and I have over 120 in my cabinet up to 39 years old). Unbelievably smooth with waves of complexity unfolding into layers of nutmeg and clove, malt, smoke, maybe a little eucalyptus and/or mint, some liquorice.

Just WOW! So glad I bought two.

3rd March 2017

Perfectly balanced of sweet and spice

This is the best whisky I've had to date. It's incredibly complex and well balanced, and just a real treat.

I'm not sure what it was casked in, but it has a whiff of sherry about it to compliment, but then this nutty caramel sweetness that mellows into this warming spice that just makes you smile. It's just great, and to me exactly what a whisky should be.

I disagree with peaty being mentioned. For me, there's none of that.

27th February 2017

The best whisky I have ever had!

This whisky just keeps giving and is extremely complex. Good luck getting your hands on it!

1st October 2016

Outstanding Whisky

Myself and a friend attended the Yoichi Distillery and, after tasting several including the 20 and 21 yr old, were disappointed to learn all the aged whisky was unavailable. Happily, I have just obtained 2 bottles of the excellent 21 yr old. Hint...It's a top blend and can still be found at very reasonable prices in 'out of the way' Japanese bottle shops...well worth searching for if you are in Japan!

3rd March 2016

Not discontinued

Whilst there has been a restructuring of the Nikka whisky lines, thankfully the Taketsuru was not discontinued. It is the Yoichi and Miyakikyo age statement whiskies that have been discontinued. The retail price for the Taketsuru in Japan did recently go up however, and the 21 retails in department stores for approx JPY 15,000 (GBP 90). The 17 for about half that.

10th February 2016

Now a collectors bottle.

I was bought a bottle of this, just before they stopped producing it. I am afraid I will never get to taste it as if you can now find a bottle, it will cost you over 1000 Euros........

20th January 2016

Best Scotch ever

Bought a bottle at Narita Airport - coming home from a long stay in Korea and Sagamihara Japan. Opened the bottle on a brisk fall evening while camping in late October, just me, my 8 year old white lab, a very nice camp fire, a fine cigar, and this 21 year old bottle of scotch. Really - it does not get better than that.

18th August 2015

The End?

according to Nonjatta, Nikka's whisky lineup will only be composed of NAS bottlings-this means that from 2015 the 21 year old will be history....

7th July 2015

The pride of my collection

When i saw this at Narita airport for USD70, I thought they mislabelled it. I have about 20 bottles of whiskey at home, leaning towards the peaty. This bottle is my prized possession, which despite its price, I save only for the most special of occasions.

Agree 100% with the guy with 30 bottles of whiskey. Coats the tongue beautifully, and releases mild peat, lovely caramel flavours and a citrussy twist at the end to bring a smile to your face.

24th May 2015

A truly masterful blend

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

Smooth As Silk

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

Great whisky

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

utter perfection

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

This is truly an amazing taste, so much so that they won best whisky review of the month (<a href="" rel="nofollow">Best whiskey of the month &#8211; 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

Craftmansship at it's best

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


^^Hey you, above me, I'd love to be your whisky.^^

13th December 2013

It's no longer raining...

...and without further adieu, the back off to bed.

10th December 2013

It's raining now...

It's raining now, there's soft sounds of droplets tapping on the windows throughout the home. Other than the light coming from the ligthening strikes that seem to get closer, it's the only source of light entering the home from the outside. Inside, only a single candle is lit. I walk by an old and well worn leather arm chair and A small creek is made by the oak end table door as it is opened. I pull the bottle and a singular glass that stood near it. I sit, and lay the glass atop the end table an pour into it my companion for this late evening/ early morning. As she's introduced to the nights light show, she airs her sweet aroma, her passion. I make her wait, as I bite into finely rolled Cuban and set it afire. A couple of puffs and then she waits no more. The glass touches lip and tongue and this fine companion meets it's mentor. I say when she goes down, and for how long. A subtle burn, and sweetness is met with anticipation. Another sip and she rolls around the tongue, like a mistress who knows she's only here for one thing and one thing only. Smokey and earthy, it seems my companion is a perfect match for tonight's engagement. Four pours later, the Cuban is gone, the nights storm passes, and the cork is pressed back into its home. I sit and watch the clouds outside roll through and leave with the nights wind. The candle is put to rest by moistened fingers, and the mind rolls this body into its bed. A fine end to this good night, a good night indeed.

10th December 2013

Damn vigilantes!!!

A lovely hint of samurai sword thru your gizzard. After about a quarter of the bottle it will have you squinting like the little bastards that made it! I'm quite fond of this liquid lacquer, it'll get you from point A to point..well, where you'll want to knock up the old lady again! Let's not get too technical here, all in good fun. It's a good bottle, but it's somewhat over priced. Now off to see the samurai samich maker...I'm hungry.

10th December 2013

I've got over 30 bottles of whiskey but...

... this is the one i keep for special occasions. I'm not a connoisseur by any stretch, but even serving this to unsuspecting guests with a single piece of ice, it always brings a wide smile. They actually recognise that this is something quite special. To me, it's smooth, coats your tongue beautifully, and then releases a very gradual warmth, which tastes slightly peaty and a nice balance of citrussy and caramelly flavours. I can't go more specific than that, but hopefully, you've already made up your mind by now.

1st December 2013

I've got over 30 bottles of whiskey but...

... this is the one i keep for special occasions. I'm not a connoisseur by any stretch, but even serving this to unsuspecting guests with a single piece of ice, it always brings a wide smile. They actually recognise that this is something quite special.

To me, it's smooth, coats your tongue beautifully, and then releases a very gradual warmth, which tastes slightly peaty and a nice balance of citrussy and caramelly flavours. I can't go more specific than that, but hopefully, you've already made up your mind by now.

1st December 2013


Smooth, complex, a joy to sip.

18th July 2013

I know that taste...

If you like this one, maybe you should buy Red Breast 12 instead. Same value for less than half the price.

25th April 2013

Absolutely agree

Excellent whiskey. I definitely recommend to buy.

10th April 2013

Hot cherry blossoms

Nose: Cheeky on the nose. Really smells (of soy sauce). Oaky doaky.

Taste: remorseful and firm.

Concluding : a gentle walk with a mugging at the end.

2nd February 2013

close to perfection

If you like smooth, complex and subtle then this is perfection.
There is a flavor component to this that appears after about 1.8 seconds and surprises you!
Could be a tad more warm/powerful. I don't taste any smoke at all (a good thing).
You need to taste this.

3rd December 2012

Just gorgeous

One of my favourites, if not THE favourite. Rich and, yes, almost chocolatey. Superb.

25th August 2011

Utterly delicious

Balance, depth, subtlety, strength, a bit of sherry (well, more than a bit - but certainly not too much), honey, spice and a wisp of smoke too. Wow. Complex and compelling. I love the Taketsuru 17 - but this is even better.

5th April 2011


Just two words: liquid gold...

26th December 2010

The brandy snapps of all whiskies

It's indeed a very special whisky, with scent of brandy snapps sweetness on the nose and light sweet smokiness to the palate, guaranteed to sale down your throat.

16th December 2010

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