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In 1918, Masataka Taketsuru embarked alone on a long voyage to Scotland where he enrolled at the University of Glasgow and became the first Japanese ever to study the art of whisky making. He later returned and became the first Master Distiller for the Suntory corporation where he aspired to make genuine whisky from Japan. After over a decade of crafting whisky, he established Nikka and built a distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, which he had always considered to be the ideal site in Japan for whisky-making, due to its similarities to the Scottish town where he had studied. Today Nikka owns two malt whisky distilleries, however the first built in Yoichi, is widely recognized for its rich, peaty and masculine malt. The whisky gets its distinct aroma and body from direct heating distillation, in which the pot stills are heated with finely powdered natural coal--the traditional method that is hardly ever used today, even in Scotland.
Yoichi is a bold, 15-year-old malt that shows off intense flavors of caramel apple, black olives and smoke with a rich fudge-like texture only found in the great whiskies of the world.
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