Nose: Raisins, dates, sherry, maple syrup, dark honey, seared oak, banana-nut, buttered bran muffins, marmalade, ginseng root, and some mild herbal notes.
Palate: Beautiful, silky texture with a paced arrival. I get Raisin Bran cereal, banana-nut, soft spices, herbal notes, oak, ginseng, rich caramel, and some fruit-forward sherry flavours.
Finish: The spices build to a not-too-heavy but thoroughly enjoyable crescendo. A light, silky caramel presence sets in, and blankets the other notes of banana-nut, seared honey, Japanese oak, damp earth, soy sauce, herbal notes, and gentle smoke. Medium length and very enjoyable.
Thoughts: This whisky can be loved by connoisseurs and novices alike. It’s beautifully complex but also extremely approachable. The balance and structure are near-perfection, with all the notes sounding off in total harmony. Truly, nothing about the Taketsuru 17 is off-key. However, one could be justified in complaining about the low-ish abv. While it does offer a healthy kick given its 43%, I think a significantly higher abv might elevate it to being absolutely stunning. But as it stands, this is still one of the finest non-single malt experiences to be had out there.