Nikka Whiskey 12yr Taketsuru 750mL

Our part 2 of New Hampshire scotch adventures, and of course some people just muttered/shouted that this is not in fact scotch. This is due to the fact that it actually comes from Japan despite its presence in the scotch aisle of every store. Japan has been making waves recently in the whiskey market, most notably with Sunatory buying many whiskey making companies, and with it’s own well-known/imported whiskies. Hibiki and this, Nikka.


Our main issue we suppose is that going into this, listening to their literature – you expect a more scotch like flavor. Instead though there is a sweetness that can come from a more defined spirit of rum or congnac or anejo’s but it lacks the peaty nature you want from a scotch. It also isn’t what you would call light or fruity like some scotches, in short you could not place this to a region of the scottish isles, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


What they Say: “The grand story of Nikka Japanese Whisky begins with the ‘father of Japanese Whisky’ Masataka Taketsuru. Born in 1894 into a Saké producing family, Taketsuru travelled to Scotland early in his career to learn the beguiling ways of distillation and blending. After many years of honing his craft, Taketsuru crafted Japan’s first whisky at the Yamazaki distillery before establishing Nikka Whisky, a truly artisan and premium whisky house. The 12 Year Old from the Miyagikyo Distillery is a soft and luxuriant blended malt whisky that utilises the different natural environment at Miyagikyo with the use of steam heat distillation that results in a malt that is distinguished by a harmony of the aroma of aged casks with sweet hints of vanilla and gently peat. The soft taste is elegantly deepened by a sweet and tangy fruitiness.”


Taste: 6.37 – Initial taste is quite like scotch, very enjoyable and a bit above average.

Aftertaste: 5.86 – Feels more cognac than scotch in the aftertaste, the sweetness comes through.

Burn/Smooth: 8.13 – This however just goes down exceptionally smooth for what we have.

Aroma: 6.75 – It certainly smells nice enough. It smells like a well done scotch which is high praise enough. Smell a bit of maple.

Honesty: 8.0 – Has a very nice look, keeps the classical Japanese look which is nice. The story of the Japanese man going to Scotland and coming home bringing his teachings is a great story.

Mixability: 7.75

W/ Rocks: 7.75 – It improves on the rocks here, quite a fan. Brings out the sugars.

Value: 5.13 – It’s certainly pricey, but you are getting what you paid for.

Google Shop Average: $68



Reviewer Scores:

BuffaloJern: 6.0

Justice: 6.5

The Bear: 6.5

William Henri Neve the IVth: 7.5

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Metric Score: 47.99/70 |+| Metric Average: 6.85 |+| Reviewer Average: 6.63

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Final Thoughts: I’m glad we got to partake of this, and perhaps in the future we will try some of the older versions of Nikka. However I doubt we’d grab a bottle as the price here is a worth it price, but we got cheaper in NH and paying full for this feels a bit steep over many other single malts from Scotland proper.


I am the Buffalo editor and curator of Honest Booze Reviews

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