The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

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Page 63 of 152

Nikka Whisky: Japanese Classics MASATAKA TAKETSURU, CONSIDERED THE FATHER OF Japanese whisky, came from a long lineage of saké brewers. He became the first Japanese to study at the ancestral home of Scotch whisky—the University of Glasgow—followed by apprenticeships at Longmorn (Speyside), James Calder (Bo'ness), and Hazelburn (Campbeltown) distilleries. Taketsuru returned to Japan in 1920 and was recruited by the founder of Kotobukiya (now Suntory) to produce the first Japanese whisky in 1923. Relentlessly passionate about quality, Taketsuru used what he learned in Scotland and applied local grains and water to create a style of whisky that is unique to Japan. After a ten-year contract with Kotobukiya, Taketsuru left to build the Yoichi distillery in Hokkaido, where the Nikka brand was born in 1934. Anchor Distilling Company launched Nikka in the U.S. in November 2012, initially bringing in two whiskies: the Taketsuru Pure Malt 12 Year Old and Yoichi Single Malt 15 Year Old. Last month, because of overwhelming demand, Anchor introduced four additional expressions of Nikka to the U.S. market. These are stunning achievements and belong in every whisky-sellers inventory. 90 Nikka 12 Year Old Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky, Japan ($70) Smooth and mellow with notes of toast, spice and dried fruits; clean and fresh with light, balanced flavors. C M Y 91 Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky, Japan ($70) A grain whisky usually used for blending but rarely bottled on its own, this is produced in continuous stills of a type patented by Aneas Coffey. Toasty, smooth with vanilla, oak and spice; mellow, complex and showing citrus and ripe creamy flavors. 92 Nikka 12 Year Old Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky, Japan ($120) Ripe and generous with toasty oak, spice and some sweet caramel hints; fresh and clean with lively flavors and charming intensity. CM MY CY CMY K 92 Nikka 15 Year Old Yoichi Single Malt Whisky, Japan ($130) Smooth and toasty with bready notes and nice, deep maturity; mellow and mild with finesse and elegance; vanilla and lush flavors of dried fruits and mellow spice. 94 Nikka 17 Year Old Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky, Japan ($150) Toasty, fleshy and dense with spice, ripe vanilla oak; complex and deep with great balance and rich flavors that linger on and on; elegant, long and lovely. 95 Nikka 21 Year Old Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky, Japan ($180) Elegant and lush with complex flavors of mature oak and spice; toasty, deep and rich with charming, refined style; clean, balanced and vibrant with great finesse and length. ANCHOR DISTILLING COMPANY november 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  63 TP1113_034-65.indd 63 10/24/13 9:19 AM

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