This is a blended malt named in honor of Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japanese whisky. He is the first Japanese who mastered whisky-making in Scotland and produced the genuine whisky in Japan. Masataka learned that the natural resources surrounding a distillery were essential for quality whisky. Based on his thought, he selected two places, Yoichi and Miyagikyo, and built two distilleries there. Its gentle malt flavor, fruitiness and extremely well-balanced taste make it a perfect entry point into the world of Nikka.
Nose: Heavy, thickly oaked and complex: some curious barley-sugar notes here shrouded in soft smoke. Big, but seductively gentle, too.
Taste: The delivery, though controlled at first, is massive! Then more like con-fusion as that smoke on the nose turns into warming, full blown peat, but it far from gets its own way as a vague sherry trifle note (curious, seeing how there are no sherry butts involved) - the custard presumably is oaky vanilla - hammers home that barley - fruitiness to make for a bit of a free-for-all; but for extra food measure the flavours develop into a really intense chocolate fudge middle which absolutely resonates through the palate.
Finish: A slight struggle here as the mouthfeel gets a bit puffy here with the dry peat and oak; enough molassed sweetness to see the malt through to a satisfying end, though. Above all the spices, rather than lying down and accepting their fate, rise up and usher this extraordinary whisky to its exit.