Masataka Taketsuru, seen as the father of Japanese whisky, was born in 1894 into a family that had been sake producers since 1733. After training as a chemist, he was hired by an Osaka-based company, Settsu Shuzo, which was planning to produce a Japanese whisky. The young Taketsuru was therefore sent to Scotland in 1919 in order to acquire the necessary technical knowledge and a minimum of experience. He studied at Glasgow University, also learning about the art of blending and distilling. He quickly became passionate about this Celtic spirit, and decided to devote his life to it. His dream was to create a malt distillery in Japan. When he returned to Japan in 1920, he realised that the project for which he had been recruited was not going to see the light of day. And, following the 1922 stock market crash, he lost his job. A year later, he joined the Kotobukiya group, for which he built a distillery close to Kyoto. This is how he became the father of the very first Japanese whisky in 1924.
Carefully blended whiskies from the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries make up this Taketsuru, and carries the distinctive oaky hallmark of Japanese malt whiskies. The nose is fresh and lively, with a soft fruitiness from the use of sherry casks, which is joined with a touch of nuts and gentle smoke in the background. A perfectly balanced dram and a wonderful introduction to the world of Japanese whisky.