Whiskynet Insight: Cherry Blossom - Purity, Sophistication, Nikka

  • 15 Apr 2021 2:47 PM
Whiskynet Insight: Cherry Blossom - Purity, Sophistication, Nikka
As it's the season of cherry blossom, join us on a symbolic journey into the pure and sophisticated realm of Nikka. This Japanese company knows more than a thing or two about celebrating pure beauty, in the form of exceptional whisky - how much do you know about the classic 'Nikka From The Barrel' or the increasingly popular 'Nikka Days' whiskys?

Celebration of cherry blossom - a symbol of purity

In Japan, cherry blossoms (sakura) appear in abundance every spring, and tourists go from all over the world to admire the unparalleled natural beauty on show.

This amazing Japanese “flower carnival” is held almost everywhere in Japan, with a few weeks variation depending on the time of flowering, and it has come to be well celebrated as a symbol of purity and simplicity.

The cherry trees bloom around March-April, but the cherry blossoms are “iris-flowered,” so the lucky ones get to admire the real spectacle for just a few days.

The Japanese term “hanami” refers specifically to flower watching, but specifically refers to the tradition of admiring cherry blossoms. Today, the Japanese celebrate this famous event with a picnic under the cherry trees.

Nikka - pure, refined whisky

Even if the cherry blossom isn’t closely related to Nikka whisky, it actually is symbolically. Just as this natural attraction symbolizes purity, so this outstanding Japanese whisky is notable for its immaculate purity and sophistication.

A young Japanese man, Masataka Taketsuru, is the founder of Nikka Whisky. He studied the science of whisky making in Scotland and then founded his own distillery in Japan, Yoichi. Later, in 1969, Nikka opened its second distillery, the Miyagikyo distillery.

Different distillation methods for Miyagikyo and Yoichi distillers result in different whiskys: Miyagikyo distilleries have much larger and different shapes.

The necks of Miyagikyo cauldrons are much wider and their steam pipes rise upwards, so whiskys made in Miyagikyo distilleries are much softer, while Yoichi whiskys are stronger and smokier.

Perhaps the best-known product of Nikka Whisky is 'Nikka From The Barrel' blended whisky, and 'Nikka Days' blended whisky is also becoming more popular nowadays.

The two different distilleries also make single malt whiskys, which are named after the distillers: Yoichi Single Malt and Miyagikyo Single Malt.

On the other hand, Nikka has made its mark not only with its excellent award-winning whiskys, but also with its unripened distillates made on a Coffey-column distillery: vodka and gin.

Coffey has nothing to do with coffee!

The word Coffey can also be found in the names of several Nikka products, which should not mislead anyone, does not refer to coffee, and has nothing to do with coffee.

Aeneas Coffey was an innovative inventor who patented in 1831 a tens of meters high, cylindrical distillation tower in which whisky distillation takes place continuously, making it a cheaper and faster method than conventional copper stills.

This is called a Coffey distillery, and in it we evaporate the Nikka products that have Coffey in their name. That's the secret…

Discover the unique taste of award-winning Nikka whiskys

1. Nikka From The Barrel - Ripened to Perfection

This blend is a masterpiece from Nikka, and comes in an extremely stylish bottle. The whisky is a special blend of the light, soft Miyagikyo distillery and the rich, masculine malt whisky of the Yoichi distillery, ripened to perfection in fresh bourbon barrels.

2. Nikka Days – Every Day is a Nikka Day

Nikka Days is a creamy, fruity, velvety smooth whisky with gentle peaty notes: it offers both beginners and experienced whisky fans something to make it lovable.

3. Nikka Coffey Malt

Nikka Coffey Malt is nothing more than an unmarked malt whisky that has been distilled in a continuous process. Robust and spicy, quite a dense mouthfeel and richly textured, with cinnamon and clove on the palate, and citrus-tinged freshness to lighten the load. Harmonious blend of dense spices, rich oak, and lemon and orange notes.

4. Nikka Coffey Gin

Coffey Gin’s complexity is achieved through the perfect balance between 11 selected botanicals and the silky texture of Coffey distillates. The bright and zesty aroma originating from four kinds of Japanese citruses, Yuzu, Kabosu, Amanatsu and Shequasar, compliments the traditional gin botanicals of juniper berries, angelica, coriander seeds, lemon and orange peels.

There is also a touch of apples, a fruit deeply related to the history of Nikka, followed by pleasantly tangy hints of green Japanese Sansho pepper on the finish.

5. Nikka Coffey Vodka

Coffey Vodka is a vodka with flavor and texture. The secret behind this extremely smooth mouthfeel and delicate taste is the quality of Coffey distillates and the preciseness in blending.

Corn and barley are separately distilled into various batches with slight difference in ABV and taste profile. These batches are carefully blended by experts and then refined with white birch charcoal.

This vodka with zesty notes, rich sweetness and milky mouthfeel perfectly captures the exquisite fullness brought by the Coffey stills.

You can find all available Nikka Whisky products in Japan in the WhiskyNet webshop

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