The title of the first to master something is a heavy one, laden with the responsibility of demonstrating your abilities for the world to acknowledge. Founder of Nikka Distillery, Masataka Taketsuru, did exactly that in his journey to become the first Japanese to master the art of crafting whiskey. He traveled to Scotland and sought out the teachings of scholastic courses in chemistry through the University of Glasgow. He then became a dedicated apprentice under three distinct Scottish distilleries – all to perfectly hone his skills. Nikka from the Barrel Japanese whiskey is the culmination of this efforts and mastery, released in 1985. The batch is a blend of over a 100 different malt and grain whiskies that embed as a true ‘from the barrel’ expression of whiskey. The nose introduces you with scents of freshly fallen flowers dipped in dew, bright fruits just off the tree and a bite of baking spice and wood. The aroma leads you into a taste that is exquisitely full bodied and impactful. Waves of winter spiced toffee coated in warm caramel and vanilla drizzle along with more hints of sweet fruit. Nikka from the Barrel Japanese whiskey is an authentic taste of masterful dedication, art, and superbly symbolizes the journey of one man to earn a title of “the first”.