Named for creator Aeneas Coffey, whose 1930s patented continuous-still design changed distilling, the two Coffey stills at Nikka Whisky Company’s Miyagikyo distillery in Sendai, Japan, were imported from Scotland in the 1960s and are the instruments behind Nikka and U.S. importer Anchor Distilling Company’s newest entry into the Japanese whisky market in the U.S.
Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky, which launched nationwide last month, joins Nikka’s Coffey Grain Whisky (see our review here), which arrived in the U.S. in 2013. Distilled from 100% malted barley through a Coffey still, which is rarely done given the complexity and skill required, the Coffey stills contribute the unique depth and flavor of the distillate, not found in modern column stills of today. Miyagikyo received the first Coffey still in 1963 and the second in 1966.
Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky (90 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Malty, crisp, quite like an Irish without the citrus overtones.
Taste: Spicy and rich with toasted malt character. A lot of vanilla comes through after a few seconds. Great body and a refined elegance.
Finish: Medium long with the sweeter notes lingering long after the initial baking spices have faded.
Overall: Very nice and a well done whisky. I’d vote for this to be served neat, perhaps chilled with a single small cube of hard ice.
GSN Rating: A-
For more information go to: Anchor Distilling