This Bourbon is a collaboration of the Kentucky Owl Distillery’s Master blender, John Rhea, and the Japanese Master Blender, Yahisa Yusuke, from the Nagahama Distillery in the Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Samples of Bourbon were sent to Japan, where Yusuke evaluated and blended the samples. Japan is well known as a country that appreciates Bourbon and other whiskeys. They are known as well for their blended Japanese whiskeys. Yusuke has done an excellent job with this whiskey. The word “Takumi” translates as “artisan” or “master” in English. I was sent a bottle for review and Matt and I sat down and tasted it and here are our tasting notes.

Kentucky Owl Takumi Edition

Proof: 100

Age: No Age Statement


  • Mike: Vanilla, wild berries, cardamom spice and oak wood.
  • Matt: Vanilla, almonds, dates and oak wood.


  • Mike: Vanilla, raspberries and blackberries, cardamom and cinnamon spice, oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the berry fruit is enhanced and the vanilla becomes a bit richer in flavor. Tasted with a pecan and rich caramel flavors come out and the oak becomes a drier, tannic oak.
  • Matt: Vanilla and brown sugar with dates and oak wood. The dried cranberry brings out some apple and caramel. The pecan gives it a lemon custard and cocoa flavor with lots of oak wood.


  • Mike: Medium long and dry with oak, spice and lingering berry flavors. The dried cranberry made the finish sweet and brandy-like with lots of vanilla and berry fruit. The pecan made the finish very long with oak, spice and lingering caramel sweetness.
  • Matt: Medium long with oak and a nuttiness that was pleasant. The dried cranberry added some sweetness of vanilla with almonds. The pecan brought out oak, cocoa and lingering citrus.

I would pair this Bourbon with a Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Maduro cigar. The vanilla and rich tobacco of the smoke would pair very well with this Bourbon.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller