Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

$70.00

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Using the two Coffey stills at the Miyagikyo distillery, which were imported from Scotland to Japan in 1963, Nikka have produced a number of single cask single grain whiskies from time to time over the years. This, however, is their larger release of wonderfully exotic grain whisky. Now in a 70cl bottle! Hooray!

Nikka operates two Coffey stills (named after its inventor Aeneas Coffey) within the Miyagikyo distillery for the elaboration of its grain whiskies. Imported from Scotland in 1963, these old stills yield a distillate with more flavour and depth than modern column stills, imparting a distinct character that defines the house blends. These two unique bottlings showcase the innovative spirit of Nikka.

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is named after the style of still used to create this whiskey and with it’s 95% corn mashbill it could have been labeled as bourbon… if it were distilled in the USA and aged in new charred oak barrels (among other requirements). Distilled at the Miyagikyo distillery, Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is the grain whisky component in Nikka’s blended whiskies like the Super Nikka, From The Barrel and Tsuru 17. The only one of that group available in the USA however is the NIkka From The Barrel which I haven’t had the opportunity to try yet, but is definitely on my list of whiskies to try in 2016.

NIKKA COFFEY GRAIN WHISKY INFO

Region: Honshu, Japan

Distiller: Nikka
Mashbill: 95% corn, 5% malted barley
Age: NAS
ABV: 45%

Price: $80

NIKKA COFFEY GRAIN WHISKY REVIEW

EYE
Light amber

NOSE
Sweet and sticky with notes of caramel, vanilla, nuts, fruit and fresh hay. No real depth to speak of but not a bad aroma all in all.

PALATE
Dark sweets, grains, nuts, spice and a light bit of smoke that reminds me of mesquite bbq. Like the nose it’s not very complex, but it’s pleasant.

FINISH
Medium fade of caramel, toasted bread, char and smoked ham.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
It’s not unbalanced, has a medium-light body and a soft watery feel.

OVERALL
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is pleasant enough that I wouldn’t mind having a glass from time to time, but it’s not complex enough that I’d want it as a daily drinker. More like an interesting diversion to break up my typical go-tos. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it mind you, just that it’s a light whisky that contains no real dimension to it. The most interesting thing about it is the light mesquite-like smoke that registers on the palate.

My biggest complaint with the Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky however isn’t the lightness, it’s a grain whisky so that’s kind of its MO, but its price. Here in Los Angeles this whisky jumps around from as low as $70 to as high as $110 and frankly it just isn’t worth it.

It’s young grain whisky and should be sitting on the shelves for a much more reasonable price, but because it’s from Japan there’s a huge premium on it. Especially in less scrupulous stores, the kind that that have the entire BTAC lineup on the shelf because they’ve priced them at or above secondary. So if you’re considering a bottle be wary, this is one whisky you definitely want to steer clear of trend surfing shops when looking for it at a “reasonable” price.

 

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