Continuing this month’s conversation about Nikka comes the news that Nikka will be discontinuing the Taketsuru 17, 21, and 25 Year old expressions as of March of 2020.
The Taketsuru line represents NIkka’s history. It pays homage to its founding father as well as combining the art of both of the company’s distinct distilleries. The loss of the Taketsuru line is the loss of a piece of history but it does open a future. Whisky, and in particular Japanese Whisky, is having an incredibly large moment. Bit even if whisky distilled 25 years ago is being depleted left and right the world, and the flavor, that whisky represents is gone. The challenge now is to find the way to create the spirit that fills the barrel to be bottled in 25 years while still keeping the lights on in the years between.
I love a good story and Nikka Whisky certainly has a good story. A story of both an excellently crafted whiskey but also a phenomenal story in the life of the company’s founder, Masataka Taketsuru. The month of January is especially important to the story of Taketsuru and his redheaded Scottish wife, Rita. So, I thought I’d take some time and look at a few of Nikka’s offerings for the rest of January.
In today’s edition of things you’ll never get to taste: Yamazaki 50 Year Old! On Friday August 17th 2018 a bottle of 1st edition Yamazaki 50 Year Old, one of only 50 bottles to exist, sold at auction for $312, 519.87. This is now the most expensive bottle of Japanese whisky ever sold at auction, beating theContinue reading “Open Bottle: Yamazaki 18 Year Single Malt Mizunara Cask”
One of the best things about traveling is seeing what is out there in the world that can’t be seen from home. When it comes to spirits traveling abroad often means encountering ex-pat style spirits; bottlings like Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel, an Early Times bottled at 37.1 Proof, or the Wild Turkey 13 Year.Continue reading “Whiskey Wednesday: Nikka From The Barrel and to the US”
Despite being a self avowed fanatic of American whiskey the thing I’ve found myself writing about and drinking the most recently has been Japanese whisky. The last time we spoke way back in December I was drinking poetic about the Hakushu malts and the fact that though they often seem to be in the shadowContinue reading “Whiskey Wednesday: Hibiki’s Resonant Disappearance”
Life is a bittersweet balance. I’ve been hosting Whiskey Wednesday for going on six years now. It’s exposed me to more bottles and drams than I can count, constantly challenged me to stretch my creative muscles, and introduced me to some of the most delightful nerds/people that I’ve ever met. I’ve grown as a person, a bartender,Continue reading “Whiskey Wednesday: A Bitter-Sweet Hakushu”
I’m a whiskey purist. Bourbon, Scotch, Japanese, Barrel Strength, it doesn’t matter, I drink it neat. For years I was determined that not even a drop of water would come between myself and my sweet, sweet barrel aged nectar. What’s changed me? The highball. The highball is nothing new. It’s a simple class ofContinue reading “Drinking Poetic (on a Wednesday): Highballs”
If the Scots are the craftsman of the whisky world, passing down tradition and technique year after year because it works, then the Japanese are the engineers, dissecting and reassembling each component part. The Taiwanese are the artists, free willing and experimental; it’s insane that we can even make that analogy because there is onlyContinue reading “Whiskey Wednesday: The Art of Kavalan”
After taking a look at what could be classified as one of the old school classics of Japanese Whisky, the new kid on the block, and the Americans jumping on the bandwagon I wanted to take a look at how things change. While the Japanese Whisky world is less than 100 years old it is still deeplyContinue reading “Whiskey Wednesday: Traditional Yoichi Changes”
If the Yamazaki and Suntory represent the old school powers that be in Japanese Whisky, than the Chichibu and Ichiro Akuto represent the new guard. The Chichibu Distillery is the brainchild of Ichiro Akuto and began operations in February of 2008. It sits just outside of Chichibu City about 100km north-west of Tokyo. And while the distilleryContinue reading “Whiskey Wednesday: Ichiro’s Global Plan”