When I think of Sake, I think Japan. When I think of whisky, I think Scotland, Ireland and yes, Japan.
Among all the new countries revolutionizing the world of whisky, Japan has become a giant in the trade. My favorite so far, Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky, and that still holds true even after tasting the blended 17 year-old and 21 year-old Pure Malt on the same sitting. Before we get to my thoughts, one note, I have also written about the Taketsuru 12 year-old Pure Malt and you can click on the link to read more about that tasting.
When it came down to the 17 and 21 year-old, to me the difference in taste was immediate. The 21 year-old is bold and rich, while I found the 17 year-old to be lighter and more on the medium side.
Nikka – Taketsuru 17 year-old tasting notes
Nose: oak, vanilla, honey and fruit
Palate: vanilla, spices and dried fruit
Finish: fruity and smooth
Nikka – Taketsuru 21 year-old tasting notes
Nose: oak, chocolate and espresso
Palate: spices, pepper and ginger
Finish: smooth, extremely bold and rich
When I tasted these two whiskies side by side, I did preferred one year over the other. If ever asked to choose one, I would hands down take the 17 year-old. The 21 year-old is good, but the notes on the 17 year-old were perfectly balanced, complex and sophisticated. It was just a dram that I wanted to keep drinking.
Although not by much, there is also a difference in cost. The 17 year-old is around $130, while the 21 year-old averages around $160. Definitely not a significant difference, so at the end of the day, it really depends on the flavors you are looking for. If you want bold with the notes of spices kicked up a notch or two, then I would recommend the 21 year-old. If you are however looking for something lighter with a medium build of spices, then it’s the 17 year-old you should grab.
Although I prefer the 17 year-old, I do recommend trying both, but if you want to save a few extra dollars then go for the 17 year-old, it’s definitely delicious.
Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.