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Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt

(70cl, 43%)

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt

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Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Bottling Note

A non-age-statement expression of Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt whisky, named after the company's founder, Masataka Taketsuru. It features plenty of whisky from the Miyagikyo distillery, as well as percentage of malt matured in sherry casks to give it a rich, spiced nose.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Sherry-soaked plums, raisins and green apple slices. Honey'd cereal, black pepper and hint of barrel char.

Palate: Espresso beans, milk chocolate, tobacco leaf and lingering Sherried fruit. There's a slight touch of smoke as it develops...

Finish: Elegant smoke continues, with golden barley and a final hint of coffee.

Overall: Superb Japanese blended malt from Nikka.

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Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Reviews

Very nice

Dangerously smooth and easy going

3rd July 2020

Very smooth

Beautiful flavours and smokey aromas

19th June 2020

Lacking a little on the palate

Lovely nose of raisins, apples and sherry but lacks a little on the palate - eventually I get the coffee and smooth smoke on the finish, but not a lot in between
I notice another reviewer commenting it was on sale in Carrefour for £28 - that feels nearer whats right

22nd May 2020

Nice whisky


13th April 2020


is this Kosher

20th January 2020


Absolutely my favorite whiskey, very smooth and elegant flavours

19th August 2019

Will buy again,

One of the best single malts I have ever tasted, bit disappointed in the plastic cap,

17th August 2019

Good, but not outstanding

Excited to pick up a bottle today.
Reading the label and seeing a combination of Yoichi and Miyagikyo blends I had high hopes.
I was a little underwhelmed at first pour. This leans more on the Miyagikyo style, with sherry casks weighing it down a bit compared to Yoichis otherworldly palate ballet.
On the nose and the finish it was heavy on alcohol, a product of the bourbon barrels?
With a cube to mellow, the sweetness came through nicely.
I rate it as good, preferring Nikka Coffey Grain over this, and Yoichi single malt head and shoulders above.

2nd August 2019

A decent malt

Pleasant nose with a lot of Miyagiyko and Yoichi notes. well balanced yet one can argue that it lacks character as such. Great coffee, smoke and peppery notes in the palate but the development was too zingy for me. The youthfulness of the malts almost overwhelmed other notes. finish was good with wet wood, smoke and malted barley. A great dram to share with friends in a situation where you don't have to be over analytical about the whisky.

29th January 2019


It's a beautiful whisky. I always buy whisky when in France. I got this in the Carrefour supermarket for €31.90/£28ish.

28th December 2018

One of the nicest malt whiskeys ever.

The colour is rich golden hue. It tastes unexpctedly different than most of Whiskeys. The Taketsuru is delectable, a taste that takes you by surprise, fine, soft, engergetic, sweet and insiring.

20th November 2018

Nice dram

Got this bottle today in small shop in West Cork (Ireland) absolutely love it :)

5th November 2018

Definitely one of my favourite whiskies

Super smooth, fruity, more like an Irish single malt within a long chocolate finish

11th October 2018

Pure Malt = pure excellence

This is one of the best NAS whiskies I have and will ever taste.

Unfortunately I don't have it on tap

27th August 2018


I paid a little more than most for my bottle simply because I live in an expensive area just outside of Washington DC. As a First time buyer when I first cracked it open I gave it a whiff and it had a lovely Aroma of fruits and smoke. I then anticipatingly pour a shot into my favorite glass, and as I always do, I gulped it down in one swift motion letting it slide down my tongue and the back of my throat. It went down ultra-smooth leaving an after Aroma in my nose that was both gentle and enjoyable. Sort of like taking a cup of warm coffee and slurping it down. I will buy this again however I will try and find a cheaper location. A bit too pricey at $71 a bottle. I've seen it for $10 less online. I can only hope that I can find it that cheap locally in the store. All in all for any liquor under $100 a bottle this stuff definitely hits the spot. If you want to sit down and have a few stiff shots but don't like your throat to burn like somebody poured lit lighter fluid down your throat, this is the whiskey for you. Two words: VERY Smooth...

8th June 2018

So delicately balanced

Wow, big green apple on nose.

Drink straight: Scotchy for sure with Japanese balance made light & smooth. Sweet & bitter grass with the lightest of smoke for me. Finishes like wine IMO.

6th March 2018

Worth a try!

Costco had a few bottles so i picked one up. Very enjoyable blend. After my first sip I wasn't sold but after letting it get some air it really grew on me. Very easy to drink and carries an excellent range of flavors. For $50 I was very happy with the purchase!

29th December 2017

A very approachable and easy drinking, smooth whiskey with just enough character

Pay no attention to the negative comments that some have left. This is Japanese whiskey (JW), not scotch. Yes, similar but not scotch. I think most negative reviewers had some preconceived expectation that was not met. I tried this without knowing what to expect--I think it was better that way! Anyway, give this a try if you are getting into JW. You won't be disappointed at all! I'm very glad I chose this one! When I first opened it, it had slight smokiness which faded after getting some oxygen. It has a pleasantly smooth character with just enough flavor and complexity to make it enjoyable. This will be a staple in the spirits cabinet for years to come. I've also let several different whiskey drinkers (including 2 very seasoned bourbon guys) try this, and they all agreed it was very good and worth trying! I'm looking forward to trying the other Nikka offerings sooner than later!

13th December 2017

The Go-To Underestimated Japanese Whiskey

Exceptionally smooth. One of the smoothest whiskeys I've had. I had seen a special on Japanese whiskey's recently and felt the urge to pick one out. Did a little reading, but feel lucky to have chosen the Nikka Taketsuru. A few reviewers below have beaten this up for lack of smokiness. Wrong scotch for that. Or too heavy? Did not feel that. This is an easy well---balanced scotch to have if you keep 2-3 on the shelf.

24th November 2017

A great morning whisky.

An exceptional blend, very drinkable and affordable.

The nose is bees wax, raisins with a light vanilla charcoal smoke in the back.

Opens with warm spiced citrus and a short smokey pepper finish.

23rd September 2017

Great Japanese whiskey

Very nice Japanese whiskey, enough complexity but still pretty smooth

25th August 2017

Taste is not good, heavy, not smoo

Its not smooth, not nice, but heavy taste. Even with ice cubes. I Will not recommend.

21st August 2017

Doesn't stand out

I looked forward to trying this from some of the reviews I'd read, but ultimately thought it neither stood out nor offered anything unique when compared with a variety of other whiskeys at a similar price point. Flavor was fine, but underdeveloped. Simply put, it's unmemorable. At the current $60 price point, there are a number of far more enjoyable options to buy.

21st August 2017

Very nice entry in to Japanese Nikka

Very nice pepper, but sweet beautiful colour

26th June 2017

Great Japanese whiskey

This is a great whiskey. It is well put together and the flavors are complex.

23rd June 2017

I highly recommend it.

A very nice whisky, a classic example of Japanese craftsmanship. The Scottish origins are evident, and is capable of standing alongside many a scotch.
This has a touch of smoke, is sweet with a bit o fruit, vanilla and a touch of nuts. This is well balanced and I will keep it in my cabinet as part of my collection. Makes for a nice, reasonably priced daily drinker. I doubt I will ever tire of it.

31st March 2017


Although not an expert, I find this whisky one of the best tasting experiences I ever had. True to the above description 100%. I would definitely suggest it.

24th March 2017

JW Black

This is just JW Black, at double the price. I can't say I've tasted them side-by-side, but I've had JW Black and JW Blue ... and this is no JW Blue. (And even JW Blue was just okay). I haven't tried any of the other JW expressions, but seriously there's no need to. This thing is right at the Black level, just double the price.

16th March 2017

Good for its value

Seems pretty close to a Yamazaki 12 to me although more fruit on the palate. Not bad but I agree drinking too much could lead to some heart burn. A Whiskey to enjoy 1 glass per session.

10th February 2017

How is this so well reviewed?

This was really rough.. I decided to buy a bottle and line it up against previous age statements in a blind tasting... well it wasn't blind for long.. immediately on the nose you could tell this had spirits under 3 years old in the glass.

My biggest gripe here is it tastes nothing like the previous Taketsuru bottlings.. there is no smokiness and it reminds me more of an american rye than something that belongs along side quality scotch... the aged is extremely balanced and one of my all time favorites, the NAS leaves me feeling I spent way too much... for young inexperienced whisky. There's nothing wrong with young american rye (not my favorite, but there's nothing wrong with it), but they should bottle this spirit under a different name ...

Normally, I steer clear of NAS, I don't buy into any reasoning except that they're trying to hide young whisky because of supplies... and it's not like they're heavily discounted versus aged versions, they still want the same amount of cash in many cases. I made an exception here because of my love for Taketsuru and my dwindling (1/5th of my last bottle remaining) supply.

Oh well....

Oh and to the comment about the price in Japan.. that's how it is with almost all Japanese whisky... if you go to Japan you will buy it for a fantastic price... but outside Japan you pay the markup.. it leads me to avoid most Japanese whisky, it's good... but that international markup drives it outside of a respectable price point. I think my Hibiki 18 was something like $40 when I was there last a couple years ago.

23rd December 2016


On it's one with nothing to compare this is likely a good whiskey but over the course of a night of tasting this some out as status quo...uninspiring...albeit solid. Not overpowering on the aroma, spicy but flat lines. One taster said "This is the white paint of whiskey. No depth to the flavour." Another taster gets the "acid reflux" sensation which some might consider a long finish.

11th December 2016

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt (70cl, 43.0%)

En väldigt djup, mörk och mastig doft av frukt samt lite lätt sherry som övergår till citron mot slutet.
Om jag inte visste hur mycket alkohol det var i denna så skulle jag gissat på cask strength på grund av de djupa dofterna.
Smaken är främst fruktig och maltig men man tycks hitta en gnutta havssalt samt sherry också. Man känner att den inte är lika stark som den tycks lukta, tyvärr något spritig.
Doften är så speciell att jag skulle vilja ge 5/5 genom att bara lukta på den men efter att ha smakat den är jag något besviken. Hur som helst efter att ha haft ett par droppar vatten i den så är det en ganska god whisky i alla fall som får ett helhetsbetyg på 3,5/5 med tanke på det något för höga priset.

15th November 2016

20€ at supermarket, Japan

The price at europe seems to be way off. Seems like someone is taking a big cut :)

5th November 2016

Great whisky

Spot on with the tasting notes, this is a rather splendid and very drinkable dram. I am impressed with this blended malt and highly recommend.

23rd October 2016


I tried this at a whiskey bar in Bethlehem, Pa over the weekend. It was so spectacular that I bought a bottle immediately on the following Monday. I am primarily a Islay man - Uigeadail and Lagavulin 16 are my mainstays. Off the island I am a fan of Glenmorangie - really enjoy the expressions [10, Lasanta and Quinta Rubin] I have tried.

That said - I have never really found a blended malt that I truly enjoyed. Until Now!

The Taketsuru is in a class by itself when it comes to blends and it holds it own against almost all the Single Malts I have tried.

And I will say this - the tasting notes above are some of the most accurate I have seen. I can honestly say everything mention comes across the nose and the palate.

Put this in regular rotation and you will not be disappointed.

18th October 2016

Last Minute catch

I just drove by the local Nikka factory near Sendai, Japan. The factory closes at 4:30 PM and I got there at 4:26 PM. The taketsuru was on sale for about 3000 Yen and I had to get the bottle quickly to the register and out of the shop. Believe me, this was one of the best last minute deals I have ever landed!

15th October 2016

A personal favourite

I enjoy the range of Scotches, from sweet and citrusy to pungent and peaty. That said, this relatively inexpensive, delicate and floral whisky is so far my favourite of them all, including quite a few at 3-4 times the cost (and not excluding some other Japanese products). I appreciate the subtlety, the complexity, the many layers and the long finish. A superb product. I can't recommend it enough. There are over 50 bottles in my Scotch cabinet. This one is always at the very front.

24th September 2016

The best ive tried.

One of the best whisky ive tried.

9th September 2016


Smooth, delicious, and a little bit smoky tail. Mmmm very good. Beginning taste reminds me very Yamazaki 12 but end is different. But I prefer and will buy Yamazaki 12 .

22nd August 2016

Evolves in your mouth

Have to agree with the other comments on this page: MoM have nailed the tasting notes here. I certainly got the honey'd cereals and apple tones on the nose, which for me, then very steadily developed into dark chocolate / coffee beans. Then the smoke rises and fills your mouth like vapour.
Wow. Just wow.
I am becoming more of a mega-fan of Japanese whisky by the day. Nikka and Suntory are producing some spellbinding malts, and this is is one of those Japanese expressions that is leading the charge.

24th May 2016

Hats off to the Chaps

I've been a fan of Master of Malts for many years but your description of this particular malt could not be more accurate. Thank you for everything you do, your work doesn't go unappreciated. Sincerely, Canada; )

22nd April 2016

My go to "scotch" whiskey... John Rain would LOVE this... Perhaps even Reacher..

I discovered this rare, subtle, warrior whiskey on the top shelf of a local diner in Oakland CA on a quiet early Sunday morning in late August 2015 ... it was my birthday and I was launching into the third day of my weekend worth of celebrations and I spied a bottle of brown liquor with Japanese characters on the label ... next to the Macallan 18 yr old.. I was listening to a John Rain novel on my headset. So I chose the Japanese spirit.. OMG.. I am so glad I did. Macallan who?? what?? Yeah.. it's like that... My friends who don't even like whiskey LOVE this gem ... I'm going to order a case, cause now, just like Oakland used to be the best kept secret in the Bay Area, the word is out. I'm not even going to describe how awesome this spirit tastes because I'll just add to the noise on the bandwagon... Just gonna get my case and try not to consume the entire dozen before my next birthday in late August... :-)

1st April 2016

Simpson of Tulsa

Wow!! I am a Scotch purist for the most part. Love 15 year old Balvenie Sherry cask matured as well as Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and Balvenie 21 Port Wood! I have to admit with a tucked tail, that this is an amazing bottle. Nice soft bite before an almost over ripe pear blast of flavor. This is followed by a wonderful fall of figs and barely ripe bing cherries. Must have some Olorosso Sherry casks involved. I could be wrong, but that is the taste I get. Don't look over this beautifull (I misspelled beautiful because it deserves more than one l(ove)) spirit. I can't call it a scotch, but to think of it as less than the spirit of the gods doesn't give it it's due.

2nd March 2016


It tastes very deep and almost like a cask strength, love it!
The taste isn't really what I expected though and you may need a few drips of water in it.

15th February 2016

Silken smooth

Today I tasted and it is damn good and silken smooth with heavenly taste. I am fan of Japanese pure malt and will be trying more Jap single malts

15th February 2016

Very smooth

I just got my bottle today and I have to say it's a really good whiskey. It has a very nice kick to it too aside from being real smooth. It almost reminds me of a mix between a whiskey and a japanese plum wine. If your not a fan of japanese whiskey you should at least try this one because it's very good in its own way.

11th February 2016

Very Outstanding

Smoky flavor, an image of an old man appears.
Strong flavor, not like usual blended whiskey, very outstanding.
Very close to single malt.

21st January 2016

taketsuru pure malt.


1st January 2016

Top Marks

Outstanding whisky,
this is my bottle of choice.
Nothing else comes close.

19th December 2015

Put this in your pipe

For any doubters of Japanese Whisky...I dare you to try a bottle of this and write a bad review! This is my go to blend and has been for several years. You simply cannot find a better dram for the price. Soft, smoky, fruity sweet and you crave more. Long distinguished finish. Beautiful.

10th November 2015

My top contender

Had quite a few bottle of that delicious whisky. Can't recommend it enough. I keep finding myself coming back to that one. Its smooth, complex, with a long finish. Definitely my favorite scotch in that range of price.

1st November 2015


I just bought a bottle of this surprisingly complex and outstanding Japanese whisky. I read about the quality of Japanese whisky but I was surprised how smooth and complex this whisky is. I plan to buy a case tomorrow. Enjoy!

22nd October 2015


I could say lots of great things about this whisky. Trust me, get it and you will buy it over again and again. This is coming from a scotch enthusiast. Japanese craftsmanship at its best. Now my everyday dram.

14th August 2015

Now a believer!

I was one of the "Japanese can't make great whisky guy". Boy was I wrong. This thing is young and smooth but at the same time it has amazing complexity and a finale that seems to linger forever. Now I crave it! Simply amazing. Now I have to get my hands on the Miyagikyo!

14th August 2015


I am a fan of hakushu whiskies & have been totally against non age statements. I bought this by mistake thinking it was a 12 year old nikka taketsuru as labeled on the shelf. I decided to give it a try since I have already bought it. I must say I am pleasantly surprised by how smooth & full bodied this tasted. It taste like a toned down hakushu 12. I am glad I have a few more bottles to enjoy.

26th June 2015

Can't be this one

I am a bartender by trading, tried over 200 different scotches/ whiskies, this one blows them all away. very complete taste full body, smooth, and enjoyable to drink, just pick up a case of 6, will probably need to order more as they go fast, don't hold back on this one folks, ENJOY THE JAPANESE STYLES

8th June 2015

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