by Nikka Whisky by Shelley

In 2018, the Nikka Whisky won two important Awards in the International Spirits Challenge 2018 and World Whiskies Awards 2018, on Nikka Coffey Vodka and Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 years old respectively.

The Coffey range is a range of products (both whisky and spirits) that showcases the flavors and texture delivered from the Coffey Still. The Coffey Still, named after its inventor Mr. Aeneas Coffey, is a particular and traditional type of a 2-column continuous still. According to Naoki TOMOYOSHI, Nikka Whisky International Business Development, the first product launch within this range was the Coffey Grain Whisky in 2012. Following this success they launched the Coffey Malt Whisky, a 100% malt whisky distilled in Coffey Stills, in 2014. The same year in 2014, in one of the internal proposal meetings, Chief Blender Tadashi Sakuma (picture as below) presented the first prototype of a “gin made from Coffey-distillates”. This proposal lead to the development and launch of the Nikka Coffey Gin and Nikka Coffey Vodka.

Tadashi SAKUMA

Chief Blender, the Manager of Blending Section


Starting his career at Yoichi distillery just after entering the company in 1982, Sakuma has widened his experience in whisky production, aging, procurement of raw materials and quality control. From 1995 to 2001, he was based in London and traveled throughout Europe as the General Manager of Nikka European office. In April 2012 he was appointed the chief blender and the manager of blending section as the successor of Nikka’s blending technique and philosophy inherited from the founder Masataka Taketsuru. He is now responsible for the whole quality management of Nikka products.

The Nikka Coffey Gin

The Coffey Gin was officially launched in June 2017, as a new expression within the Nikka “Coffey range”. The uniqueness of the production of the Nikka Coffey Gin is that it focuses more on the spirits itself and the blending process rather than just the botanicals.

The way we make Coffey Gin is something like making a blended whisky. As mentioned above the biggest feature of the Coffey Gin is the beauty of the base spirits distilled in Coffey stills, and the blending process makes everything come together.’ said Naoki.

The corn and malted barley were first distilled separately in the Coffey Stills. The Coffey Still distillates have a distinctive silky rich texture which in the case of the Coffey Gin it perfectly captures the full flavors of the selected botanicals.

Both corn-base spirits and malt-base spirits are not from single batch but consist of several batches with slight difference in ABV and taste profile. Then, using only the corn distillate, the above mentioned 11 botanicals were steeped and re-distilled in 3 different ways. Like blending whisky, the blenders find the best balance among those distinctive components and create a beautiful chemistry.

Gin Consumption- Becoming more Exciting and Creative

We see the Gin category as a whole becoming more and more exciting and creative. Despite this fast-moving world our belief is that innovation starts from tradition, and is what makes our product stand out. In the case of our Coffey Gin we were able to create a new gin combining our 3 traditions.

1.Nikka a history of Gin production since 1963 (different from the Coffey Gin)

2.Coffey Still distillation history since 1963

3.Blending skills since the foundation in 1934

For us it is not just one character, but a mixture of the people, culture and history behind it.’ said Naoki TOMOYOSHI, Nikka Whisky International Business Development.

The Award Winning Selections


International Spirits Challenge 2018- TROPHY Best Vodka

Nikka Coffey Vodka was awarded the Vodka Category's top "TROPHY" at the International Spirits Challenge 2018 as a particularly outstanding product in the Vodka category. The tasting awards ceremony was held at the Gibson Hall in London, England on Thursday July 12th. This was the 23rd holding of the International Spirits Challenge (ISC), which is one of the most respected and influential spirits competitions in the world.

About Nikka Coffey Vodka

Nikka Whisky produces 4 distinctive expressions distilled in Coffey Stills. The Coffey Still is a very traditional type of a continuous still, which was invented by Mr. Aeneas Coffey in 1830. Nikka Whisky's founder, Masataka Taketsuru valued the feature of this type of still, which retains the flavors of ingredients and also creates a distinctive texture. Today Nikka owns two sets of Coffey Stills.

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

World Whisky Awards 2018- World’s Best Blend Malt



Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 years old awarded WORLD'S BEST BLENDED MALT at World Whiskies Awards 2018.

Nikka Whisky Chief Blender Tadashi Sakuma attended the WWA presentation dinner and collected the trophy on behalf of the company in London on Thursday March 22nd. Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 years old has been awarded the World Best Blended Malt for the 4th time.

The strength of this whisky lies in the way the subtle aroma of peat builds up over time," says world-renowned British whisky critic Jim Murray in appreciation of Taketsuru 17 Years Old. Its mellow, well-rounded nose and palate are sure to please.