La Zouch Coffee House Restaurant & Cellars, 2 Kilwardby Street, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, LE65 2FQ
Telephone & Fax: 01530 412536     Email:
wineandwhisky@lazouch.co.uk

OPENING HOURS: Closed Sunday Evening and All Day Monday
Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 9:00am, Sunday 11:00am
Last Orders: Tuesday & Wednesday 6:00pm, Thursday & Friday 9:00pm, Saturday 7:00pm, Sunday 4.00pm

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Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky Nikka from the Barrel  Togoushi  Premium Blended  Whisky
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HISTORY


In 1918, a young Japanese man with an ambition to make genuine whisky went alone to Scotland to unveil the secret of whisky making. He is Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky.


Given the chance to go to Scotland, Masataka became the first Japanese ever to master how to make whisky. He enrolled at the University of Glasgow, took chemistry courses and then apprenticed at three Scotch distilleries. The young and passionate man was fortunate to learn first-hand from craftsmen and have practical trainings to master blending. The two notebooks filled with every detail later became Japan’s very first guide in whisky production.


Father of Japanese Whisky Masataka Taketsuru (1894-1979)


Given the chance to go to Scotland, Masataka became the first Japanese ever to master how to make whisky. He enrolled at the University of Glasgow, took chemistry courses and then apprenticed at three Scotch distilleries. The young and passionate man was fortunate to learn first-hand from craftsmen and have practical trainings to master blending. The two notebooks filled with every detail later became Japan’s very first guide in whisky production.


In 1920 Masataka returned to Japan with his Scottish wife Jessie Roberta (Rita). The two had married earlier that year and Rita decided to immigrate to Japan to support her husband’s dream. However after returning to Japan, Masataka and Rita were heartbroken to find out that Settsu Shuzo, the company which invested in Masataka to learn in Scotland, had to abandon its plan to produce genuine whisky in Japan due to recessions after World War I.


In the meantime another company, Kotobukiya Limited (Suntory), was in search for someone who could conduct whisky production. Being the only Japanese who knew how to produce whisky at that time, Masataka was hired by Kotobukiya in 1923 to direct building the Yamazaki Distillery. There he led the project and devoted himself to producing Japan’s first genuine whisky.


After his ten year contract with Kotobukiya, Masataka decided to become independent to make his own ideal whisky. In 1934 he went north and built his first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, a place - though inconveniently located - he had always considered to be the ideal site for him to make whisky. The environmental conditions of Yoichi were in many ways similar to those of Scotland with a cool climate, crisp air and appropriate humidity.


The company first started producing apple products under the name of “Dai Nippon Kaju”, meaning the “Great Japanese Juice Company” while he was preparing to produce whisky. In 1936 the first pot still designed by Masataka and made in Japan was installed and started distillation. Finally in 1940 the first whisky from Nikka was launched. The brand name of this whisky was “NIKKA WHISKY”, short for "Nippon Kaju", which later became the name of the company itself.


Masataka Taketsuru, the first Japanese who mastered whisky making in Scotland, valued the climate and natural features of the north. Yoichi, the place chosen by Masataka was close to the sea, surrounded by mountains on three sides and in many ways similar to Highland in Scotland. A cold climate with an appropriate humidity, crisp clean air and fresh water - everything necessary for his ideal whisky was available. The proximity to the sea is one of the distinctive features of Yoichi. The sea breeze gives a briny hint to the whisky during the maturation.


Direct coal-fired distillation

The tradition inherited from the foundation


Masataka set a pot still using direct coal-fire when he built the Yoichi Distillery. This still was similar to pot stills at Longmorn Distillery where Masataka had the first practical training in Scotland. This traditional coal-fired distillation is hardly seen today as it is difficult to control temperature and requires highly skilled craftsmen. However, the distillation process at Yoichi has remained very traditional to this day. The characteristics of Yoichi Single Malt such as boldness and toasty burnt flavors are unique features of this distillation.


Miyagikyo Distillery


At latitude 38.3°N.  A beautiful glen in the northern mountains the destination after pursuing an ideal location


Masataka aimed to make his blend more complex by widening the variety of whiskies. In 1967 he was exploring the northern part of the main island to find another ideal site for his second distillery. He came across a beautiful foggy glen surrounded by mountains and at a junction of two clean rivers. Once he tried the water from one of the rivers, which is now the water source, he was so impressed and immediately decided to build a distillery there. The name of the river was Nikkawa river by coincidence.


Malt whiskies reflecting different distillation methods


Masataka aimed to develop a complete contrast between Yoichi Distillery and Miyagikyo Distillery. Along with the different terroir, the different distillation method of Miyagikyo creates distinctive malt whiskies. Miyagikyo’s pot stills are much larger than those at Yoichi with different shapes such as a bulge neck and ascending lyne-arm. These pot stills are heated by indirect steam at a much lower temperature that allows slower distillation. This distillation method results in soft and floral characteristics in Miyagikyo Single Malt.


Miyagikyo Distillery produces grain whisky as well as malt whisky. The quality of grain whisky was one of the critical elements for Masataka’s ideal blending.


The Coffey Still is a very traditional type of a continuous still, which was invented by Mr. Aeneas Coffey in 1830. Masataka became familiar with the Coffey Still during his time at Bo’ness in Scotland and imported the first set in 1963. Despite its old-fashioned structure and inefficiency, he valued the feature of the Coffey Still, which retains more flavours originating from the grain itself. Today Nikka owns two sets of Coffey Stills, both operating within the Miyagikyo Distillery. Coffey-distilled whiskies and spirits are highly reputed in the world.

*The Coffey Stills were first installed at the Nishinomiya plant and later transferred to Miyagikyo Distillery in 1999.


Coffey Grain is predominantly made from corn and distilled in a Coffey Still.

The complex, sweet and mellow flavours of this expression will help you re-discover the beauty of a grain whisky.

An essential component of Nikka Whisky’s blends, the Coffey Grain is a single grain whisky, distilled mainly from corn in a Coffey still located at the Miyagikyo distillery.


Tasting Note

"The nose is very complex and tends to drift. Cedar cigar-box and exotic woods are ribboned with smoke and peat accents. A sherry influence is layered into the blend and if you wait long enough, soy sauce, celery and other umami components are part of the drift. This whisky dances across all taste buds with cloves, cinnamon and orange zest seasoned by salt spray. A walnut like bitterness accompanies the extended finish. A very rich blend.

Taste with water

NOSE: fresh and enticing, it reveals ripe pear, cherry and exotic fruit aromas. Citrus notes of blood orange and lemon appear, slowly giving way to more subtle floral scents. With air, aromas of pastry, coconut and bourbon vanilla emerge, with underlying notes of mint and a hint of musk.

PALATE: juicy and pleasant, the promises of the nose are kept. Intense ripe fruit with rum accents (banana) and caramel. The complexity develops with hints of liquorice and star anise. The mid-palate shows more fruit, dominated by pear nectar and quickly moving on to creamier notes with an omnipresent freshness.

BODY: Light to medium

FINISH: just as pleasant as on the palate with pear and vanilla bourbon, ending on a very nice light bitter touch.

STYLE: fresh and enticing, it reveals ripe pear, cherry and exotic fruit aromas. Citrus notes of blood orange and lemon appear, slowly giving way to more subtle floral scents. With air, aromas of pastry, coconut and bourbon vanilla emerge, with underlying notes of mint and a hint of musk.

Food Pairings: Chocolate or fruit desserts

Recommended Serves ; Straight, on the rocks, or cocktails.


Country:  Japan

Region: Miyagikyo Distillery, North of Honshu Island

Producer: The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co

Bottling: Distillery Bottled

Range: Single Grain Whisky

Style:   Grain Whisky

Water Source: River Nikkawa

Owner: Nikka Whisky

Status:  Operational

Age: nas

Cask Type: Bourbon casks

Colour: Golden Hue

Flavour Profile: Tropical Fruits

Allergens: Not known

Bottle size: 70cl

abv:   45.0% abv

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
Cellars: £69.50