Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky bottles

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 18, 2022 
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is a unique and exotic single-grain Whisky with an exceptional taste.

The Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is produced at Miyagikyo distillery in Sendai, Japan. The "Coffey" part in the name goes back to the two-column stills used to distill the Whisky. They were imported from Scotland back in 1963. Those particular two-column stills are so-called Coffey stills - a distinct and patented design for stills developed by Aeneas Coffey in 1830.

And because using those vintage stills is something worth mentioning, the Whisky proudly includes the unusual term "Coffey" in the product name. Most grain Whisky manufacturers do not use column stills for their distillation but continuous stills because they are more efficient. However, Nikka decided to go with the traditional way to add more character to their Whisky.

Also, grain-based Whisky is the most blended Whisky all over the globe, no matter where you go. That means most producers would blend the final result with another product to create a "better" balanced Whisky. But thankfully, Nikka decided otherwise and produced an exquisite single-grain Whisky. And the unusual approach and unique taste make this product quite successful.

Looking closer at the mash bill of Nikka Coffey Grain, you'll see that it's mostly made of corn. But Nikka also added just a bit of malted barley to it to create a unique flavor profile. And in combination with the Coffey still, the flavors are very different from most other Whiskys you can find on the market.

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky bottle

Category: Single Grain
Country: Japan
Producer: Nikka
ABV: 45%

What does it taste like?

Nikka Coffey Grain is often nicknamed Japanese Bourbon. Yet, that comparison does not do justice to the product because the Coffey Grain Whiskey is more than a Japanese variant of the typical American corn Whiskey. Coffey Grain showcases the characteristic sweetness and vanilla ar of corn. But it also contains hints of peaches, honey wine, cinnamon, and candy. But let's examine the aromas and flavors step-by-step.

In the nose, you'll get aromas that are close to Bourbon. A lot of vanilla and corn but also hints of chamomile.

Once you take the first sip, you'll get more vanilla combined with fruity sweetness. Flavors like peaches, melon, and grapefruit come through, and also notes of candy and biscuits.

The finish and aftertaste are full of corn notes. So even though this spirit is not a Bourbon, Bourbon lovers might find it highly interesting and agreeable.

Why does Nikka use a Coffey still?

Nikka uses an imported Coffey Grain still because it keeps more of the characteristic aromas, notes, and flavors in the Whisky. The newer continuous stills are way more efficient. But at the same time, they also strip out much flavor out of the spirit. The result of the former is a spirit full of character that's might not be for everyone. However, those who appreciate it will be pleasantly surprised by a sweet and complex flavor profile.

Nikka produces their Coffey Grain Whisky at Miyagikyo Distillery. That is the first and also larger distillery Nikka owns. The founder of Nikka, Masataka Taketsuru, is married to a Scottish woman and decided to bring Scottish stills to Japan to be able to produce high-quality Whisky according to Scottish standards.

This level of attention to detail reflects in the choice of barrels used for aging the Whisky, as well. All casks are made on-site from fresh and new oak.

Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey FAQs

Why is it called Coffey Grain Whiskey?

The Japanese Whiskey is named after the still type used to produce the Whisky. A Coffey still is a particular kind of column still designed by Aeneas Coffey in 1830.

What is Nikka Coffey Grain made of?

The mash bill contains mainly corn but also a bit of malted barley. Nikka Coffey Grain is a single grain Whisky.

Is Nikka Coffey Grain rare?

Nikka Coffey Grain is not a very rare Whisky. But because its origin lies in Japan, it might be hard to get to other parts of the world.

Is Nikka Coffey made in Japan?

Yes, Nikka produces their Coffey Whisky in one of their distilleries in Japan, at Miyagikyo Distillery in Sendai, to be precise.

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