In 1895, Masataka Taketsuru - the father of Japanese Whisky - was born in the small town of Takehara, Japan. At the time, Masataka's family owned a sake brewery, and in preparing to carry on the family trade, Masataka studied chemistry and biology at Osaka Technical High School. After graduating high school, Masataka showed more interest in whisky than in sake and in 1918, he enrolled at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, becoming the first Japanese ever to study the art of whisky-making. While in Scotland, Masataka took chemistry courses during the day while apprenticing at distilleries at night, learning to distill and blend whisky first-hand at some of Scotland's most prestigious distilleries. In 1920, Masataka returned to Japan, and within the decade, had produced the country's first single malt whisky.
In 1934, Masataka moved to the town of Yoichi and opened the doors to Nikka Whisky Co. In 1960, as the Yoichi Distillery was reaching capacity, Masataka began searching for another suitable location in Japan to open a second distillery. Following a three-year search, Masataka found a wide forest valley at the junction of the Hirosegawa and Nikkawagawa rivers. The localized humidity from the rivers and surrounding hills, together with the quality of water from Nikkawagawa River, created the perfect location for a second distillery, which he named Miyagikyo.
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is a whisky meticulously crafted at the Miyagikyo Distillery. Once the grains arrive at the distillery, they are milled and mashed before being distilled through copper-pot stills that were imported from Scotland in 1963. As a result of their age and shape, the stills produce a whisky that is more flavorful and complex than modern column stills. Following distillation, the whisky is matured in traditional oak casks.
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky has an aroma of tropical fruits, bananas and papaya. The aroma gives way to notes of soft vanilla, caramel, wafers and dried fruit on the palate, and leads to a finish accented by notes of citrus.
The whisky earned a score of 93 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2014, which named it Japanese Whisky of the Year.
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