Region, Subregion, Country:
Nose: Full-bodied, smooth. A mellow peat softly coats the aromatic palette at first, growing more powerful with time, as smoke, soot and salty notes transcend the initial nose. The aromas then evolve towards candied citrus fruit (lemon, orange), black liquorice and spices (nutmeg, ginger), and opens up with roots and dried twig aromas. Heady and floral (carnation, iris), it grows increasingly complex.
Palate: Firm, powerful. A well-balanced attack gives equal footing to aromas of peat, smoke, spices, fresh fruit (melon, kiwi) and nuts (almond, walnut), which it delivers in spades. The mid-palate starts off with chocolate notes, but the peat soon takes the lead once again.
Finish: Long, silky. Extremely mature, it overflows with ripe fruit (pear, Mirabelle plum, apple). The peat starts taking on an herbaceous and malty character, while the salty flavours gives the finish plenty of depth and coastal freshness. The final nose offers menthol, spicy (coriander, dill) and earthy (leather, chestnuts) notes.
Born into a sake brewing family in Hiroshima on June 20. 1916 Graduated from Osaka Technical (High School) where he majored in brewing. Entered Settsu Shuzo Company in Osaka. 1918 Embarked for Scotland via U.S.A. 1918 Arrived in Scotland and enrolled at the University of Glasgow in December. 1919 Apprenticed at Longmorn Distillery in Speyside to learn malt whisky production. 1919 Apprenticed at James Calder in Bo’ness to learn Coffey grain whisky. 1920 Married Rita on January 8. 1920 Apprenticed at Hazelburn Distillery in Cambeltown to learn malt whisky production and blending. 1920 Returned to Japan with Rita in November. 1922 Left Settsu Shuzo Company since the plan to produce whisky was abandoned. 1923 Entered Kotobukiya Limited (Suntory) with a 10-year contract. 1923 Directed to build Yamazaki Distillery, the first whisky distillery in Japan, and engaged in whisky production. 1934 Left Kotobukiya in March. 1934 Established Dai Nippon Kaju Co., Ltd. on July 2. 1936 Yoichi Distillery started distillation. 1940 The first whisky “NIKKA WHISKY” launched. 1949 Takeshi Taketsuru, Masataka’s nephew and adopted son, entered Nikka Whisky. 1952 The corporate name Dai Nippon Kaju Co., Ltd. was altered to The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd. 1961 Rita died on January 17 at the age of 64. 1963 The first Coffey Still was imported from Scotland and installed at Asahi Breweries’ Nishinomiya plant to produce grain whisky. (The Coffey Stills were transferred to Miyagikyo Distillery in 1999.) 1966 The second Coffey Still was installed. 1967 Kashiwa bottling plant completed. 1969 Miyagikyo Distillery completed in April and started distillation. 1977 Tochigi plant completed. 1979 Masataka died on August 29 at the age of 85.