This was really good, I must say during that whole Japanese whisky boom, I did get a little jaded especially with prices just climbing like Tesla shares. So when this came out, I was mildly hesitant, but for the price, what the hey. And that turned out to be such a good call. This was such a strong showing and I can’t rave about it enough.
Some people scoff at NAS bottlings but trust me, this just took the cake. Wonderfully complex with all the right notes, it didn’t feel forced or suffered at the hands of some accelerated maturation. Yet its Japanese profile was distinctive from the nose and so nostalgic.
Bottomline, light yet complex, plays all the right notes, it hits the sweet spot for most Asian palate, price is great as well.
Link to review: https://88bamboo.co/blogs/the-bamboo-post/taketsuru-pure-malt-whisky-2020-release-nas
Visually, a clear light straw yellow, not very viscous. But not atypical of Japanese whiskies either.
On the nose, it starts with a slight alcoholic tinge so I’m gonna just let it cool down a little and leave it to rest. A few minutes in, it’s certainly simmered down, the alcoholic twang is gone, thank god. It’s replaced by that characteristic musky mizunara that people like to say smells like wooden shrines. But yeah gotta give it to these marketers, it really do be smelling that way.
A lot of honey as well, it’s also fruity, like green apples, apricot, blackberries. It’s very light, sweet and slightly tart buoyed by that oaky musk. Really such a great nose.
On the palate, it’s light bodied, but oh boy does it pack a punch. At first sip it’s sweet and delicate, you do taste the honey you got on the nose, alongside this fragrant vanilla and jasmine. It’s somewhat like Pokka’s green tea. Then it develops to becoming a lot spicier and that’s where the kick is at. It grows into this little fireball that warms your throat.
After that fireball simmers down, there’s this really nice soft coconut shaving, much like Ondeh Ondeh, know that desiccated coconut that coats the surface. There’s BBQ tropical fruits as well, like pineapples and pears. What’s interesting is there’s also peat which caught me by surprise. It’s a very gentle smoke that stays on after you’re done and it’s alittle salty at that.
This is surprisingly very complex but so good. Like seriously, what?!
The finish is medium, it’s not too short but yet doesn’t overstay. It goes down so smooth but when that fireball is put out, all those really wonderful subtle layers come out, like that toasty coconut shavings and the grilled tropical fruits and let’s not forget that whiff of smoke that is just slightly salty. What gets you is that right after the fireball goes down and you think you’re done, man oh man, it was just intermission! There’s a full second half left!