In an effort to broaden my understanding of Japanese culture, I’ve taken to sampling different types of Japanese alcohol. The brewing methods involved in Japanese alcohol are elegant, refined and complex, contributing towards some of the most multifaceted drinks on the market. This sophisticated brewing process is at the heart of why so many different types of Japanese whisky have become popular with western consumers.
Next on my list of Japanese whisky reviews is Nikka Coffey Grain. Made it the innovative Coffey Still that was developed by Aeneas Coffey in 1830, this type of whisky has an exquisite slow burn texture that is perfect for enjoying while sitting in an armchair in front of a roaring fire.
A complex mingling of flavours
The Nikka Coffey Grain is different from other Japanese whiskeys I’ve tasted because it is much sweeter on the senses. A vanilla-like aroma gathers in the nose, while the flavour is a unique mix of fruity and dessert-like textures. I detected notes of melon, mango, toffee, cheesecake and honey.
This contrasted with a low-key burn that gathered at the back of the throat, but never became overpowering. The different levels of flavour unfurled gradually, becoming more pronounced over time. The Coffey Grain was topped off by a vibrant finish that was enhanced by a couple of ice cubes floating in the honey gold liquid.
Brewed to perfection
The smoothness of the whisky comes down to how it is made in Nikka’s Miyagikyo distillery. Compared to Nikka’s Yoichi distillery, the Miyagikyo venue has larger pot stills that operate under a different distillation process. The pots are heated by indirect steam at a lower temperature, resulting in whiskies with soft and sweet characteristics.
The Nikka Coffey Grain is distilled using the Coffey still that was imported from Scotland in 1963 by Masataka Taketsuru. Even though the still was thought of as old-fashioned, Taketsuru valued its ability to retain more flavours that originated in the grain.
Nikka Coffey Grain is among the best whiskeys I’ve tasted. The sweet aromatics blend extremely well with the smooth taste and I would recommend it to whisky aficionados everywhere. Pick up a bottle today.