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Sendai, Tōhoku, Japan
Masataka Taketsuru is a crucial figure in the history of Japanese whisky. It was he who travelled to Scotland, staying and working at distilleries to learn their secrets.
He returned to Japan, armed with new whisky knowledge, and accompanied by a Scottish wife. Taketsuru helped to establish Yamazaki distillery, the first dedicated malt whisky facility in Japan, with the precursor company to Suntory, before leaving to found Nikka Whisky – now Suntory’s greatest rivals.
Taketsuru constructed the Yoichi distillery in 1934, following it with Miyagikyo 1969. Yoichi, said to be based on Talisker in Scotland, creates a distinctive, peaty style of spirit, whilst Miyagikyo is soft and fruity. Both distillates are used in this blended malt, ensuring a harmonious and fully flavoured whisky.
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Punchy, with aromas of fresh stone fruit, lemon rind, stem ginger followed by some soft peat smoke, dark chocolate, coffee beans and gentle oak-spice.
A rather creamy mouthfeel brings flavours of smoked peaches, grapefruit and orange zest, tinned fruit salad, crunchy malt biscuits and salted caramel.
Long and rather fudgy with notes of chocolate cake, peat smoke, cinnamon, ground ginger and malted milk. Oak tannins linger for some time.