Nikka Coffey Grain Japanese Whisky
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Sweet, with subtle, crisp, nutty oak, then comes fudge, ripe banana, and peach. The overall effect is like eating vanilla ice cream with toffee fudge and hazelnut sprinkles. The structure is thick and physical, the palate sweet and quite fat, with light hints of raspberry, fruit salad. A jag of acidity freshens the delivery on the finish. With water there’s more toffee, and it becomes slightly more yielding, with less oak. For me the gold standard of grain.
The name of this whisky has nothing to do with coffee—rather, it's named for a type of still invented by Aneas Coffey, which is used to make this golden spirit. It offers mild vanilla-pear aromatics and is relatively light and silky on the palate. Look for a light vanilla sweetness at first, which gives way to a rounded dark chocolate note and baking spice finish. Recommended for highballs and other mixed drinks.
Sharing a great deal with Scotch in terms of production methods and ingredients, today’s hugely successful commercial market of Japanese Whisky owes much to the research of Masataka Taketsuru. In 1918, this Japanese national travelled to Scotland with the intention of studying organic chemistry but instead became fascinated with Scotch Whisky production. Similar to Scotch Whisky, Japanese Whisky also uses malted barley as the fermentation base and long-term aging in wooden barrels. However, the often-used Mizunara oak, rather than French or American oak, imparts uniquely spicy and citrus-like characteristics to a Japanese Whisky.