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.
Amber with pink and copper highlights. The nose is fresh and sweet. Subtle fruit notes (white peach skin) are very much in evidence, against a background of oily peat. With a little air a lovely sweetness emerges, in which dried fruit (pecan nut), varnish and dried grass (hay and tobacco leaf) notes mingle. The palate is rich and oily. Bitter-sweet notes (barley sugar and iodine) spring to mlind with remarkable precision. Soft, with flowers, minty aniseed, spices (clove and pepper) and chocolate all developing. The finish is elegant, with chocolate (bitter chocolate and moccha), coffee and citrus fruit notes all arising. The retro-olfaction carries on, with notes of fresh fruit (white peach).