[Review] Taketsuru Pure Malt

Skill and ambition passed down from generation to generation. A malt whisky that is fragrant, easy to drink, and rich in flavor.
Taketsuru Pure Malt combines the deep richness and flavor of malt with the soft drinkability of malt. Taketsuru Pure Malt was launched on September 25, 2013.

1. Manufacturer

Nikka Whisky Co.

Establishment1934
Head office location4-31, Minami-Aoyama 5-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8616, Japan
Owned distilleriesYoichi Distillery, Miyagikyo Distillery, Ben Nevis Distillery

2. Distilleries

Yoichi Distillery

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

The Yoichi Distillery in Hokkaido is known as the Scotland of Japan. It was established in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru, also known as Massan, whose predecessor was Dainippon Fruit Juice Co. Masataka Taketsuru believed that a place similar to Scotland Cool and humid climate, rich water source and clean air Masataka Taketsuru chose Yoichi, located at the base of the Shakotan Peninsula, west of Otaru, from among various candidate sites. 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 about Yoichi Distillery, please see this article.

Miyagi Gorge Distillery

Location 1 Nikka, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, 989-3433, Japan
Start of operation 1969

It has been about 30 years since the first distillery was started in Yoichi, Hokkaido. Masataka Taketsuru, who believed that “whisky becomes richer and more flavorful when it is blended with raw materials from different distilleries” desperately needed a second distillery. Taketsuru chose Miyagi Gorge 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 Shinkawa 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

4. Characteristics

A malt whisky with a softness comparable to blended whisky.

A pure malt whisky named after Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japanese whisky. Complex and brilliant. A pure malt whiskey that is fragrant and easy to drink, finished only with fine malts that have been aged for a long time. It features a soft, sweet aroma, smooth mouthfeel, and mellow taste. It also offers a refreshing aftertaste.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaSoft malt aroma and sweet, vanilla-like barrel-aged aroma. Fruity aroma of green apple, pear, apricot, and grapefruit with a refreshing sweet and sour aroma.
TasteMild and silky mouthfeel. Fresh and crisp, with fruity notes of banana, orange, lime and herbs.
AftertasteSlightly bitter aftertaste with a soft acidity and a sharpness.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content43%
alcohol categoryPure malt whisky
Cask typeSherry casks, remade casks
Contents700ml
Number of bottles soldNumber of bottles sold
Suggested retail price

3,300 yen (tax included)

Release dateSeptember 25, 2013

5. Awards

2014 ISC Gold Award
2016 ISC Gold Award
2018 ISC Gold Award

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product NameTaketsuru Pure Malt
Volume700ml
Suggested retail price3,000 yen (tax included: 3,300 yen)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is Around 6,000 yen to 7,000 yen The resale price on Mercari is as follows. (*As of April 7, 2021)

6-3. Yahoo auction bidding price

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 4,646 yen, highest bidder: 14,000 yen, average bidder: 8,474 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days as of April 7, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

It is also sold on mail order sites at Around 7,000 yen to 9,000 yen It is also sold at (*As of April 7, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR SHINKAI”, which is operated by this site, it is offered at 1 glass, 45ml: 1,100 yen (*As of April 7, 2021)

7. Summary

It is characterized by a smooth mouthfeel and a fruity, mellow flavor. We recommend drinking it straight, tossed up, or on the rocks to soak up the richness and aftertaste of the malt while sipping it slowly, or casually with a splash of water or a highball to feel the gorgeousness of the malt.

■ 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
(2022/06/26 00:41:58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
(2022/06/26 04:16:10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
(2022/06/26 05:22:24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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