Whisky Wednesday: Nikka Tsuru 17

Review Whisky

4.0 stars

Nikka, Japan’s second largest distiller, was founded by Masataka Taketsuru, the man generally credited with starting Japan’s whisky industry. Perhaps as a result of Taketsuru’s early training in Scotland, Nikka’s style tends to be slightly more “scotch-y” than their rivals Suntory.

Nikka Tsuru 17

This is Nikka’s Tsuru 17, a whisky which is not readily available outside of Japan. Happily, I picked up a miniature on our last trip there!

Bottled at a relatively low 43% ABV, it’s a gloriously rich-looking golden dram.

The nose is very sweet, quite light and sugary with a subtle but warming alcohol edge to it. There’s the barest hint of damp wood and over time, a sweet clementine citrus tone appears.

Watered, the sweetness is reduced and the fruit becomes fresher, greener – pears or even under-ripe strawberries.

In the mouth it’s honey sweet on the tip of the tongue, with a touch of hot pepper coming through. It’s creamy smooth with hints of vanilla, and a slight grain bitterness right at the finish.

Water mutes the sweetness, and brings a fruity, pear nature to the front. The pepper remains, and it’s still gloriously creamy but without that bitter edge.

A delicious dram that’s worthy of 4 stars – if only I’d bought a bigger bottle!

2 Comments

Terry

I have a 760ml white decanter of theTsuru. It is still sealed. I believe it has been in my grandfathers possession since the late 60’s or early 70’s. Is it still good?

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petedrinks

The only way to be sure is to open it! That said, whisky doesn’t really go off; I’ve been lucky enough to be given a few pretty ancient bottles, and they’ve been fine.

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