|Origin||Japan, Malt Whisky|
Masataka Taketsuru is very much the father of the Japanese whisky industry. In 1918 he became the first Japanese man to come to Scotland to learn about whisky production, working at Longmorn, Bo'ness and Hazelburn as well as studying at the University of Glasgow. In 1920, he took his copious notes, and new Scottish wife, back to Japan and, in 1923, set up the famous Yamazaki distillery for Suntory. In 1936 he took his expertise and founded his own distillery at Yoichi on the northern island of Hokkaido, somewhat out of the way but he saw there very similar climatic conditions to those he had seen in Scotland. Yoichi Single Malt is decidedly peaty, with iodine/seaweed notes akin to Islay whisky. As with all Japanese whiskies, it is impeccably made with beautiful balance. A true testament to Masataka Taketsuru. L&S (Sep 2019)
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The Nikka Whisky Co. was founded in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru, who is widely acknowledged as the father of Japanese whisky. Masataka's family owned a sake brewery that dated back to 1733. Taught early that sake-making is a painstakingly fine art, Masataka studied diligently and trained as a chemist, preparing to carry on the family trade. However, Scotch whisky captured the young man’s imagination and he decided to dedicate his life to it. In 1918, Masataka Taketsuru travelled to Scotland, where he learnt the secrets of whisky-making and met the woman who would become his wife, Jessie Roberta (Rita). 2 years later he returned to Japan with his new bride and worked with a company to produce Japan’s first whisky. It soon became apparent that to produce whisky the way he felt it should be made, he would have to become independent. In 1934 Masataka established Nikka Whisky and built its first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, which he had always considered to be the ideal whisky-making site in Japan. In the decades since Nikka has become a fixture in Japan, known for its passion for quality and flavour. The Yoichi distillery continues to adhere to techniques such as the use of coal-fired pot stills, and otherwise remains loyal to the whisky-making traditions dating back to its foundation.
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