Old and new Nikka Taketsuru NAS and 21-years-old

Old and new Nikka Taketsuru

The Nikka Taketsuru range is a good example of the problem Japanese whisky is facing. And I mean the true Japanese whisky, the one distilled in Japan, not the “bottle whatever and slap some Japanese kanji” fake Japanese whisky crap. As you’ve read a thousand times, there is a shortage of old Japanese whisky stocks, that is here for a long time (you can’t accelerate years, even though, and especially with 2020, you’d sometimes want to). And the demand for Japanese whisky is so high that the current production is not even enough to cover the needs. Thus, Nikka announced last year expansions for its Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries to fight shortage. But since whisky takes time to mature, the shortage will probably stay at least until 2030… And earlier this year, they sadly announced the total discontinuation of the 17, 21 and 25-year-old Nikka Taketsuru, their pure malt blend of Yoichi and Miyagikyo juices, named after the founder of the Nikka group. I won’t go into the history of Nikka and Masataka Taketsuru as I’ve briefly covered that previously on the Yoichi blind tasting I organized with friends. They also announced they would renew their NAS edition of Taketsuru, and thus today we’re going to review the old and new Nikka Taketsuru NAS, as well as the discontinued Taketsuru 21-year-old.

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Compass Box Spice Tree & Spice Tree Extravaganza Review

Compass Box Spice Tree & Spice Tree Extravaganza Review

The Spice Tree is a famous blend made by Compass Box. John Glaser, Compass Box Whisky Company‘s founder, is a man who spent many years in the wine trade. Younger, he wanted to become a wine merchant or a winemaker. After joining Diageo to work in the marketing department of Johnnie Walker, he learnt blending next to JW’s master blender Jim Beveridge. While at first he intended to slide over to Diageo’s wine department, things worked out differently and he fell in love with Scotch Whisky. Later, he decided to go back to his ambition: create. But this time, to create whisky, as he saw the idea of blending whisky as a creative art. So he decided to become not a winemaker, but a “whiskymaker”. And in 2000, he founded Compass Box Whisky.

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Quick review: Blended Malt #1 18yo batch 3 TBWC

Quick review: Blended Malt #1 18yo batch 3 TBWC

Behind the eight window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a Blend #1 18-year-old batch 3, bottled at 47.3% abv bottled by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. The funny label represents a congregation of people on a hill, praying to a giant floating teaspoon with an aureole, and cleric people at its errr… feet? This seems to be a not-so-subtle hint to tell you this “blended malt” is in fact a single malt that has been teaspooned. When an independent bottler buys a cask from a distillery that does not want its name to be known, the distillery can add a teaspoon of a any other single malt to the cask, making it by definition a blended malt. Yep, even with a teaspoon worth in a full cask, it cannot be called a single malt anymore, and thus the name of the original distillery cannot be used. Anyway, it’s available on Master of Malt for a mere ¬£64.95 which is I think very good value. But let’s dive on and let us explain what we think of this teaspooned malt.

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