Showing posts with label Nikka Coffey Malt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nikka Coffey Malt. Show all posts

Nikka Coffey Malt

”Coffey Latte”

Whisky Review # 968

Country: Japan 🇯🇵
Region: Northern Japan
Brand: Nikka Coffey Malt
Type: (Single) Malt Japanese Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 45%
Maturation: Unknown. I suspect a mix with mainly Ex-Bourbon casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Sample provided by Jan from the Netherlands. Many Thanks!
Price Range: US$ 50-70 (November 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Borderline okay for such a Young Whisky.
Buying Advice: 😕 The Nose is okay but the rest is disappointing


Golden (Artificially Coloured)


Interesting Fruity and Buttery Nose. Sweet but within Limits. There are some early wafts of Acetone and Glue but they get softer with time. The Alcohol is noticeable. All in all a bit Thin but Pleasant. 

Main Aromas:

Sugared Breakfast Cereals, Sweet Barley, French Butter Biscuits (St. Michel), Honey, Vanilla, Toasted Nuts, Artificially Flavored Candy/Bubblegum (Banana, Apple, Pear and Pineapple), Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Tangerine), Caffe Latte, Dusty Oak, Pepper and Mint.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Butterscotch, Golden Syrup, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Apricot-Filled Puff Pastry, Rum-Soaked Raisins and Plums, Grass, Glue, Acetone, Bourbon, Papaya Cream, Mango, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Licorice and Wet Rocks. Hints of Leather, Tobacco & PVC pipes.

Miyagikyo Distillery

On the Thin side. Slivovitz, Flavoured Vodka and French Eau de Vie all pass through my mind. Disappointing after the fair Nose. The slightly Harsh Alcohol is noticeable. A Young mix of Sweet, Bitter, Sour and Salty notes.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Breakfast Cereals, Salted Caramel, Banana Bread, Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Mandarin), Caffe Latte, Sour Berries, Cocoa, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon & Clove.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Butterscotch, Golden Syrup, Honey, Apricot-Flavoured Puff Pastry, Toasted Nuts, Acetone, Bourbon, Grass, Melon, Plums, Tea, Wet Cardboard, Nutmeg, Currie, Ginger and hints of Polished Leather and a filled Ashtray.


The relative Youth of this Nikka is quite noticeable now and so is the Vodka-style Alcohol. The Finish is rather short. There are still some Sweet Fruity notes but Sour and Bitter elements grow stronger towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Sour Berries and Prunes, Toasted Grains, Salted Caramel, Honey, Crushed Walnuts, Slivovitz, Wax, Citrus-Flavoured Dark Chocolate, Polished Leather, Dusty Oak, Apple & Pear, Bitter Tea, Wet Cardboard, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Licorice. The Artificially Flavoured Candies and Caffe Latte return at the end.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the size of the sample I only tasted this Nikka neat.

Rating: 83.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7 (*******)

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 21

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. And I'm planning to only use the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Okay - Good Nose

In 1934 Nikka Whisky and the Yoichi Distillery were founded by Masataka Taketsuru the "Father of Japanese Whisky" who learnt the trade in Scotland. The Miyagikyo Plant followed in 1969.

The Nikka Coffey Malt was launched in 2014 and is made with Malted Barley that is distilled in one of the two Coffey-type column stills of the Miyagikyo Distillery. These stills are named after the inventor & are usually reserved for distilling Grain Whisky. Although the Coffey Malt was made with 100% Malted Barley and was distilled at a single Distillery it still could't officially be regarded as a Single Malt  in Scotland as it was not distilled in Pot Stills. But in Japan the rules are not that tight apparently.

I enjoyed the Nose of this Coffey Malt. Nothing extraordinary but pleasant enough. I was literally "bitterly" disappointed by Palate and Finish though. Here the Youth is quite clear and visions of Flavoured Vodka, Slivovitz and the like got stuck in my mind. There are still some nice Fruity and Buttery notes around but as a package this Coffey Malt does not convince me. I welcome the experiment made by Nikka but it's just not my kinda thing.     

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                   November 3, 2022

Yoichi Distillery