Masataka Taketsuru, born to a sake-brewing family 100 kilometres south of Hiroshima, journeyed to Scotland almost 100 years ago to study at the University of Glasgow. He returned with a degree in applied chemistry, a wife named Jessie Roberta and a passion for whisky. After a stint as the first master distiller for the company that would become Suntory, he founded Nikka in 1934. Now owned by brewer Asahi, Nikka was instrumental in cultivating Japanese whisky’s up-market status. This is superb, as the Price would indicate. Mouthwatering at first, with a rounded barley-malt richness and fruity middle, it turns pleasantly dry, with a hint of smoke. I’m glad Taketsuru applied himself to whisky rather than, say, haggis sushi.