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In 1918, Masataka Taketsuru embarked alone on a long voyage to Scotland. In this distant land the secrets of whisky-making would be imparted to this young Japanese man, and here he would meet the woman who would become his bride.
Masataka Taketsuru was born in the coastal town of Takehara (now Takehara City) about 60km from Hiroshima City. The Taketsuru family owned a "sake"(Japanese brew made form fermented rice) brewery that goes back to 1733-- and continues to produce fine sake today, in 2004. Taught early that sake making is a painstaking fine art, Masataka studied diligently and trained at university as a chemist, preparing to carry on the family trade. However, Scotch whisky captured the young man's imagination, as well as the interest of few other enterprising Japanese of that day. He decided to dedicate his life to whisky. Given the chance to go to Scotland, Masataka enrolled at the University of Glasgow and became the first Japanese ever to study the art of whisky making. He took chemistry courses at the university and apprenticed at distilleries, learning first-hand from craftsmen and receiving training as a blender. Masataka would later become known as a master blender. In 1920 Masataka returned to Japan with Jessie Roberta (Rita), whom he had married earlier that year. Later joining a company that aspired to make genuine whisky, he succeeded under its employment in producing Japan's first whisky. Masataka's vision of whisky was formed by his experience in Scotland, and he knew that the right environment was essential. However, it was becoming apparent that in order to produce whisky as he felt it had to be, he would have to become independent. Thus in 1934 Masataka established Nikka Whisky, and built its first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, which-- though inconveniently located-- he had always considered to be the ideal site in Japan for whisky-making, similar in many ways to the Scottish town where he had studied. Masataka established Nikka because he was determined to introduce his fellow Japanese to the joys of authentic whisky. In the decades since, as his company developed and the enjoyment of whisky became a fixture in Japan, he remained relentlessly passionate about quality. Never did he allow it to be sacrificed in favor of efficiency. In that sense, Masataka Taketsuru, Father of Japanese Whisky, sake brewer's son, had never truly left his roots. The young Scotswoman who, in 1920, embarked with her Japanese husband on a long voyage to Japan, adopted the ways of the distant land. She steadfastly supported her husband throughout their marriage, as he built Nikka and made it flourish, until her passing in 1961. Rita and Masataka Taketsuru are buried together, in Yoichi.
Matured malt whisky and grain whisky are blended and then re-casked (a process known as "marriage") to create a rich harmony of distinctly different whiskies. "From the Barrel" is bottled directly from re-casked barrels of whisky and features almost the same alcohol percentage. At 51.4% alcohol content, this whisky possesses a distinctive personality characterized by solidity, depth of taste and a richly expanding aroma.
Nikka Days, is a subtle blend of grain whiskies and slightly peated malts. A whisky with a smooth and fruity profile. Notes of white flowers, citrus, toffee, vanilla and dry apricot.
This Grain Whisky is distilled in a "Coffey still", which is a very traditional and rare patent still Nikka imported from Scotland in 1963. The Coffey still produces a complex whisky with a mellow and sweet taste originating from the grain itself. Please enjoy the uniqueness of this whisky which Nikka offers to the connoisseurs.
This very original bottling is made from 100% malted barley, just like a Single Malt. The difference lies in the distillation method. Nikka innovates by distilling this malt in their Coffey Still (named after its inventor Aeneas Coffey), which is usually reserved for grain whiskies.
Malt whisky is distilled exclusively from barley malt, and is considered to be the forefather of all other types of whisky. In general, it is divided into single malt whisky (several malt whiskies from a single distillery vatted together) and pure malt whisky (malt whisky from several distilleries vatted together).
Super Nikka has been a top seller since it was put on the market in 1962. Its luxuriant aroma, gentle hints of peat and scent of aged sherry casks are all in harmony, and its flavor is smooth, rounded and well-balanced.
Located in the valley of Miyagi, a region in the north of Japan's Honshu island known for its pure aair and the quality ot its natural springs, the Miyagikyo distillery produces a refined malt whisky with an instantly recognizable frutiy and floral freshness. With an emphasis on Sherry casks, the ageing process of the new bottling adds, a beautiful depth to the natural charm of this single malt. The Miyagikyo single malt bottling represents the perfect expression of the distillery’s refined character, with an emphasis on ex-sherry casks for maturation to bring depth to this whisky’s signature fresh fruit and floral aromas.
Crafted using traditional methods, such as direct coal-fired distillation, the Yoichi single malt reflects the authentic character of its coastal location on Japan's northernmost island. With its delicate peat profile, this single malt bottling strikes a subtle balance between smoky, fruity and floral aromas.
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