Nikka Taketsuru is a vatted malt / blended malt whisky (it says “Pure Malt” on the label). It was elected best blended malt in the World Whisky Awards 2010 (for the third time in four years).
Nikka Taketsuru 21 yo (43%, OB)
Nose: rich pastry sweetness with a lot of apple / cinnamon notes. Quite some vanilla and oak (a little bourbonny in that respect and similar to wheat whiskey). White chocolate. Developing on floral notes.
Mouth: totally not the expected sweetness, it starts on sour orange peel and quite a few tangy, salty notes. Then some liquorice and ginger mingled with plain wood. Gracious but slightly surprising after the nose.
Finish: medium length, again some dry oak with minty notes.
A blended / vatted Nikka with an impressive nose and firm oak – a little too firm for me – on the palate.