In my Japanese whisky tasting experience, Nikka Coffey Grain whisky is only the third Japanese whisky I have sampled. I got the opportunity to taste this whisky after ordering a Japanese whisky flight while out with friends.
Nikka is a big Japanese whisky producer which first established its distillery in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru. Taketsuru came from a sake producing family and fell in love with whisky. That brought him to attend the University of Glasgow and eventually leaving as a master blender along with the young Scotsman Jessie Roberta who became his wife.
While looking for information about this whisky, I could not find any information on the product on their actual Nikka website, but found it on the Nikka Whisky Europe site, http://www.nikkawhisky.eu/whiskies/nikka-coffey-grain/. It appears that Nikka created a partnership with La Maison du Whisky in 2001 while venturing into the European market. As there is a La Maison du Whisky boutique in Paris, I will make it a goal to find that boutique while I am in France this spring.
This whisky is a single grain, corn based whisky distilled in a Coffey still. A Coffey still is a two column still that fractionally distills the ethanol from fermentation on a big scale. It was first designed by Robert Stein in 1826 however, its design was enhanced and made better by Aeneas Coffey, which is why at times it’s refer to as a Coffey still.
Nose: Sweetness, vanilla with hints of oak
Palate: Notes of sweetness and caramel. This whisky is silky and creamy. Very smooth!
Finish: Very smooth!
My final assessment, well I enjoyed it! I think I enjoyed it the most because it was different than the other two Japanese whiskies I had tried before, 12 year-old Hibiki (http://wp.me/p3Zt2k-S) and a 12 year-old Yamazaki (http://wp.me/p3Zt2k-4X). Yamazaki and Hibiki are both Suntory whiskies, so this was the first time I had tried anything by Nikka.
I would recommend trying this whisky because of its uniqueness. It’s a different whisky that is ultra silky and smooth. If you are looking to buy, a bottle would cost you around $60-$70.
Now, my goal is to continue exploring Japanese whiskies so I would love to hear from anyone who has other Japanese whisky recommendations.
The Nikka Coffey Grain is the first dram you see pictured in this flight.
Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.