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The ultimate decorative piece, this whisky by renowned Japanese brand, Nikka, was originally launched in 1968. It’s from their Yoichi distillery, and is a special edition release bottle, with a removable metallic Samurai armor and helmet.
It has a bright amber color, and an ABV of 43%. It’s almost dry and malty at the beginning, then sweet scents of toffee, vanilla, and soft sweet spices emerge. It eventually goes on to notes of warm spice, brandy tart, and brandied dried fruit.
On the palate, it’s smooth and rounded, with a warming quality. It has notes of cinnamon, ginger, pepper, malt, and wood spice. It has a medium to long finish, warm with a soft sweet spiciness.
The best way to enjoy the Nikka Samurai Whisky is the simplest way—neat, with occasional sips of cool water to cleanse the palate. You can even add a little splash of water to your whisky. This helps open up the flavors a little more.
Masataka Taketsuru was born into a sake brewing family in Hiroshima. In 1918, he headed off to Scotland to realize his dream of learning the secrets to whisky making from the Scots themselves.
He enrolled in the University of Glasgow, and apprenticed in various Scottish distilleries before returning to Japan in 1920. After a few setbacks, he was hired by Kotobukiya Limited (Suntory) to direct the building of the Yamazaki Distillery. He devoted that time to learning to make the first genuine Japanese whisky.
When his 10-year contract ended, he became independent and built his first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, where the environmental conditions were similar to Scotland. While perfecting his whisky, the company sold apple products under the name “Dai Nippon Kaju.”
In 1940, the first whisky was launched under NIKKA WHISKY. Masataka Taketsuru is hailed as the Father of Japanese Whisky, and the notebooks he wrote in when he was in Scotland became Japan’s first guide to whisky production.
Store your bottle upright in a cool, dark place, ideally between 15 and 20°C. Do not refrigerate, as this liquor loses its aroma and flavor with cold. To maintain the moistness of the cork and prevent it from chipping, occasionally tilt your bottle horizontally two to three times, then restore it to the upright position. Unopened bottles can last for an indefinite amount of time, but the closer you get to the bottom third of the bottle, please consume quickly to prevent oxidation and taste alteration.