[Review] Taketsuru Pure Malt New Label

An incomparable whisky made by refining, combining, and bringing together malts forged in the northern sea and malts nurtured in the green canyons. It is a unique pure malt, where a variety of aromas and flavors coexist to create a world of power, glamor, gravity, and softness. Behind this is the artistic skill of blending that Nikka Whisky has cultivated. Based on the deep knowledge we have acquired through our exploration of countless raw materials, we have created an unprecedented harmony while looking to the future. This is the new Taketsuru Pure Malt.

1. Manufacturer

Nikka whiskey corporation

Establishment1934
Head office4-31, Minami-Aoyama 5-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8616, Japan
Owned distilleriesYoichi Distillery, Miyagikyo Distillery, Ben Nevis Distillery

2. Distillery

Yoichi Distillery

Address 7-6 Kurokawa-cho, Yoichi-cho, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido 046-0003, Japan
Start of operation 1936

Yoichi Distillery in Hokkaido is known as the Scotland of Japan. The distillery was established in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru, also known as Masan, whose predecessor was Dainippon Fruit Juice Co. Masataka Taketsuru believed that a place with a cool and humid climate similar to that of Scotland, a rich water source, and clean and crisp air would be essential for the ideal whiskey production. Masataka Taketsuru’s goal for his first distillery was to create a heavy and powerful malt whiskey. He was determined to replicate the whiskey-making methods he had learned at the distilleries of Scotland, without compromise. The symbol of this commitment is “direct coal distillation” . This distillation method is based on the method of the Longmorn distillery, where he learned it himself. If it is necessary to make genuine whiskey, we will protect it even if it is inefficient. Such passion, which can be said to be the origin of Nikka Whisky, and Masataka Taketsuru’s dream have been handed down to this day.

Click here for the official website of Yoichi Distillery.

For more information on the Yoichi Distillery, please see this article.

Miyagikyo Distillery

Address 1, Nikka, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi-ken 989-3433
Start of operation1969

It has been about 30 years since he started his first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido. Masataka Taketsuru, who believed that whisky becomes richer and more flavorful when it is blended from different distilleries, desperately needed a second distillery. Taketsuru chose Miyagikyo in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. It is a lush green gorge blessed with two clear streams, the Hirose River and the Shin River. When Taketsuru visited this place for the first time, he drank some of his Black Nikka in the clear water of the Shin River and confirmed the taste. It is said that he decided to build the distillery on the spot. The pride of the Miyagi Gorge Distillery is its “café-style continuous distiller. At the time of its introduction, this distiller was already considered obsolete. Because it was an old-fashioned distillation machine, it was prone to leaving behind miscellaneous flavors, but Taketsuru chose to use this old-fashioned distillation machine because the technology could transform them into the original aroma and sweetness of the ingredients. At the Miyagikyo Distillery, people who have inherited Taketsuru’s passion are still continuing to make various attempts to make whisky taste better.

Image credit: Miyagikyo Distillery|NIKKA WHISKY

For more information on the Miyagikyo Distillery, please see this article.

3. Product name and photo

Taketsuru Pure Malt New Label

4. Characteristics

New Taketsuru Pure Malt with a higher percentage of Yoichi malt.

By increasing the ratio of Yoichi malt to the original malt, a lingering aroma and richness has been added. In addition, the label has been changed from black to beige, and the design has been changed to a new one, which is attracting renewed attention from whiskey fans.

Image Exhibit: NIKKA WHISKY|Products|Takesuru Pure Malt

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4-1. Tasting Notes

NoseFresh, sweet and sour fruit aroma of apples and apricots, sweet and soft oak aroma reminiscent of toast and vanilla.
TasteFruity like bananas and navel oranges, with a light yet rich malt and peat flavor.
AftertasteA sweet and bittersweet aftertaste like bitter chocolate, accompanied by mild oak and peat aroma.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content43%
alcohol categoryPure malt whisky
Cask typeSherry casks, etc.
Volume700ml
Number of bottles soldAnnual sales volume limited to 22,000 cases (700ml x 12 bottles)
Suggested retail price4,400 yen (tax included)
Release dateMarch 31, 2020

5. Awards

There is no award history at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Image courtesy of Asahi Breweries|Takesuru Pure Malt
Product nameTaketsuru Pure Malt New Label
Capacity700ml
Suggested retail price4,000 yen (tax included: 4,400 yen)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 6,000 yen to 8,800 yen. (*As of January 29, 2021)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The lowest bid price on Yahoo Auction is 6,000 yen, the highest is 6,300 yen, and the average is 6,100 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days since January 29, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Also sold at mail order sites for around 6,000 yen. (*As of January 29, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

At “BAR Shinkai” , which is operated by this website, one cup, 45ml: 1,760 yen is offered.

7. Summary

As of March 2020, Taketsuru 17-year, Taketsuru 21-year, and Taketsuru 25-year will be discontinued, and Taketsuru Pure Malt (no age statement) will be renewed. The only whisky that bears the so-called “Taketsuru” name is this “Taketsuru Pure Malt New Label”.
As a result, the vintage whisky (with age statement) has disappeared

from the current whisky sold by Nikka. The Taketsuru Pure Malt New Label will be sold in 22,000 cases a year, but it is still difficult to see it.

Nikka is the No. 1 whiskey brand for six consecutive years in the WORLD WHISKY category of the DRINKS INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL BRANDS REPORT 2021, which was released in January 2021.

It launched a new brand “Session SESSION” in September last year. Is there any movement following that? Nikka hasn’t shown any significant movement yet this year, but is it time for us to get some information about the annual Yoichi and Miyagikyo limited edition products? I’m hoping that Nikka will make a move as good as Suntory’s.

■ Please check out the other articles about Taketsuru.

Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, we highly recommend these books.

(1).Whisky Galore Vol.29 December 2021 issue

In the December 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, we report on 11 Japanese craft distilleries, including some that are open to the public for the first time, under the title of “Japanese Whisky Craft Frontline,” the first of three consecutive issues. Why did the popularity of Japanese whiskey and the craft boom occur? We will examine with interviews. Chichibu Distillery / Chichibu No.2 Distillery / Mars Shinshu Distillery / Mars Tsunuki Distillery / Kanosuke Distillery / Hioki Distillery / Ontake Distillery / Osuzuyama Distillery / Kaikyo Distillery / Hanyu Distillery / Konosu Distillery

created by Rinker
¥1,320
(2022/06/27 01:21:38時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(2). Japanese Whisky as an Education for Business

This is a book written by Mamoru Tsuchiya, a world-famous whisky critic and representative of the Whisky Culture Research Institute, titled “Japanese Whisky as a Culture that Works for Business” .
The book covers the basics of whisky, the introduction of whisky to Japan, the birth of Japanese whisky, advertising strategies and the rise of Japanese whisky, and the current rise of craft distilleries. This is a book that summarizes Japanese whisky in a very easy to understand way.

(3). Whisky and I (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, devoted his life to brewing whisky in Japan. This is a revised and reprinted version of the autobiography of a man who simply loved whiskey and talked about himself. The book vividly depicts the days when he went to Scotland alone to study as a young man and overcame many hardships to complete Japanese whisky, as well as his companion, Rita.

created by Rinker
¥786
(2022/06/27 04:16:59時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(4). A Letter of Challenge from a New Generation Distillery

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whisky boom, what were the managers of craft distilleries thinking and what were their thoughts as they took on the challenge of making whiskey? This book tells the stories of 13 craft distillery owners, including Ichiro Hido of Venture Whisky, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

created by Rinker
repicbook(リピックブック)株式会社
¥1,870
(2022/06/27 05:24:32時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(5). Whiskey Rising

This is the Japanese version of Whisky Risng, published in the US in 2016, with much updated content. Not only does it describe the history of Japanese whiskey in detail, but it also includes data on all the distilleries in Japan, including the craft distilleries that have been founded in recent years. The book also includes descriptions of the legendary bottles that have been released, as well as information on bars where Japanese whisky can be found.

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