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Japanese Whisky Dictionary

Nikka Tsuru

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Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka and known as the “father of Japanese whiskey” , put all his skill and pride into creating this blended whiskey as the culmination of his passion for whiskey, and named it after himself as his last work. A crane stands in the northern land. The supple shape of the bottle represents the graceful, soft, yet dignified figure of the crane. It is the pinnacle of Nikka’s blended products. It is sold only at Yoichi Distillery and Miyagikyo Distillery.


The Bottle

Details of the original spirit, maturing barrels and number of bottles sold are unknown.

The blender is different, indicating that the blend is different from that of “Tsuru 17 years” , which has been discontinued. There is a young impression of the original sake, and the aging and smoky flavors are suppressed. It features a small amount of young Yoichi sake, aged Miyagikyo sake and perhaps a sweetness from the café grain.

It tastes different from Tsuru 17 years, which is said to be the best Nikka blended, but there is no doubt that Tsuru Non-Age is also a very well-balanced bottle.



Nose Soft peaty aroma, dry and gorgeous. Sweet fruitiness and woodiness.
Taste Spicy oak aroma and sweetness like apples and oranges. Youthfulness of the original and sweetness of the grain coexist.
Aftertaste Smoky and sweet. The caramel sweetness and the oaky aroma linger for a long time.



Alcohol content 43%
alcohol category Blended whiskey
Contents 700ml
Number of bottles sold Limited to Yoichi distillery and Miyagikyo distillery
Suggested retail price 13,200 yen (tax included)
Release date 2016



Our Take

Currently, it is sold in small quantities only at Yoichi Distillery and Miyagikyo Distillery. The blend and the original alcohol may be different from the “Tsuru 17 years” which has been discontinued, but both are definitely worthy of being called Nikka’s best blended beer.

As I mentioned above, the details of the raw alcohol and barrels used are unknown. My guess is that it is probably young Yoichi, aged Miyagikyo, and café grain. I had the impression that the youthfulness of the Yoichi, the aged Miyagikyo, and the Cafe Grain were a perfect match.

If you search for “crane” , you will get a hit for “Taketsuru” , so it is a bottle that is not well known. The availability of this whiskey is limited to distilleries, so there are probably very few people who have seen it.

It is a whiskey with a very high level of perfection, and I hope that many people will learn about it and try it.


(All Images Courtesy of JPWhisky.net)


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