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The 12 year old variant of Nikka's incredible range of blended malts, named after the company's founder, Masataka Taketsuru. Very good indeed.
Nose: Floral and balanced, with notes of plum jam, cut herbs, rhubarb pie, vanilla ice cream and cold coffee.
Palate: Sweet and oily, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, buttery toffee, almond, salty butter, custard.
Finish: Good length, creamy, notes of digestive biscuit and rhubarb crumble.
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Everyone I have let try has always said, "Wow, that is smoooth."This is my idea of a perfect Japanese whisky. I taste cinnamon and creamy vanilla with a touch of smoke. Such a delight to drink. I also recently tried the Nikka Taketsuru 17, which is again, on a level above the 12. If you can find the Nikka Taketsuru 12, but it, you won't be disappointed.
2nd August 2016
I was amazed. I had not touched scotch since my late teens when I loathed it. When I was given the Nikka as a gift in a monogrammed flask at age 65, I blind tasted it. "What is that?!" I murmured in amazement. "Scotch!" was the whispered reply."Scotch!?" I exclaimed. "What kind?" I queried. "Nikka. Japanese." Holy cow! What have I been missing? Of course, Nikka is not scotch as I was about to learn as I began my quest into the world of single malt whisky but I have not looked back... What a joy. I tasted a leathery, smoky quality that I now really love. I found it in Highland Park 12 as well. Then I read how the Japanese took the top prize in the Jim Murray tasting a couple of years ago with the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013. I no longer felt disloyal to my Scottish ancestry for liking something that was not actually scotch. I'm due for another bottle now and, Oh! It's my birthday next week! Guess what you can give me for my BD darling wife... I'll put it right next to the Balvenie 12 Single Barrel and the Glenkinchie 12...
13th June 2016
Mnogo dobar whisky, iscepao sam flasu sam, ne boli glava, do jaja je verujte mi..
9th September 2015
This is as good as any Scotch I've had at this price point. It is delicate and light, but has layers and layers of complexity, including a long and subtle finish. Of the Scotches I drink, this is more like Glenmorangie than the smokier malts. But it is distinct, and very definitely has its own personality, and quite a pleasing one! We have five in stock locally, and for a change, it's priced lower in Canada than in the US. I will add at least one more bottle to my collection.
10th May 2015
My second bottle of Japanese whisky; my understanding is that the distillery from which this specific blend of cask are chosen is located in Hokkaido, the largest of the northern Japanese islands. Because of its latitude, Hokkaido shares a similar climate to Scotland, which the founder of Nikka distilleries believed was essential to producing superior whiskeys. Suntory brands, like the excellent Hibiki, are distilled on Honshu, which is the largest and most central of the Japanese Islands. The Nikka 12 Pure Malt blend is much fruiter than Hibiki 12, and has a sweeter, more round noise, with notes of vanilla and a caramelized sugars. The flavor is sweet and full, with notes of fruit and sherry, and a strong flavor of vanilla and marshmallows with delicate balance of peat which reminds me of the umami flavors in strong fermented soy sauces. However, both being Japanese whiskeys, there are many flavor notes that are similar between the two; refreshing grassy notes and milk tea, with a surprising harmony between all the flavors. I would highly recommend this bottle as one of the growing number of excellent Japanese whiskeys.
22nd April 2015
I thought my favorite top five whiskeys were set in stone. But this has completely shaken up the list. The subtle peet taste, it's mild demeanor, and light sweetness reminiscent of a fine bourbon come together in a novel way. Furthermore it costs much less than many of my other favorites whiskeys
5th March 2015
You guys couldn't have hit the nail more on the head than this fine whisky. Your tasting notes are spot on. This blend is simply amazing and deserves to be acknowledged. In my top 3 blended whisky's.
27th February 2015
There's a unpleasant smell in it that make me cringe and the taste has a flat bitterness that reminds me of cheap stuff like 'Label 5'. Will go back to 'Majesty'. Wonderful bottlecap though.
7th November 2014
Очень хороший виски, думаю в купаж входит Ben Nevis, принадлежащий Nikka, и очень любим мною, но вкус не такой выразительный - более сглаженный, но осень солодовый и мягкий.
8th October 2014
Domo Arigato, Taketsuru san. Domo.
23rd August 2014
Received a bottle of the 12 as a gift and loved it. It may be from Japan but it's on par with any decent Scotch that I've savored.
2nd August 2014
I have been a pupil of my sensai for over 10 years. We have become friends and I being in seafood business have shared some of my products with him. In his gracious way he gave me a bottle Of 12! What an honor , but besides that the whiskey is outstanding! I am an Irish whiskey fan , but this goes with the Middetons AND Bushmills for smoothness and drinkability. I get vanilla/caramel in nose terrific smokey smooth finish. Nice work>>>>>>
3rd July 2014
A gift from my wife, who has now warmed to my love for fine whiskey. I was unprepared for how delightful this would be. Elegant. Gentle. Lovely nose. Nicely balanced in flavors. As fine a dram as any Scotch Whisky I have tried and better than many. Drink this one neat - ice or water would not improve it!
16th February 2014
One of the best I ever tasted. Nice X-mas present !
28th December 2013
Bought this for my son for Xmas. He's always wanted a Japanese whisky, I hope he likes it
23rd December 2013
Seriously when I first popped this openI couldn't stop sniffing it.A very deep and enticing aromaMy first sip, and in an instant my tongue was smilingLayers of flavours swirled all over itEvery Japanese whiskey I have tasted cements my love of their skillA must..spot on comments by the master of malt chaps
11th December 2013
I love it. A huge fan of Japanese whiskeys in general.. this is right up my alley. Is it better than Hibiki and Yamazaki 12yo ? Probably not. But lovely all the same. Jason Breen
1st November 2013
Smooth, rich, fruits, caramel toffee. I can't detect any smoke but that's just fine with me. Just a really good tasting whisky.
15th September 2013
Rating for previous review
19th May 2013
The local store had a tasting today of this and other whiskey. I enjoyed it so much that I purchased a bottle on the spot.Who knew that the Japanese could do such a great whiskey. Oh, and never mix it with anything(save a cube or two).
Really nothing of special... is a discrete vatted whisky suitable especially for the mixing (with the soda works well). Enough not recommended...The Nikka "from the barrel" is less expensive and more delicious at least of one point.
17th April 2013
Your tasting notes are spot on; although, I feel that apple fruit and cinnamon are prevalent in the nose and on the palate. The finish with its malt/digestive note rounds the taste making it a spicy apple pie. A pleasure from start to finish. The Japanese have made a superb whisky here. highly recommended. Leigh H
27th February 2013