About Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky
In 1895, Masataka Taketsuru — “the father of Japanese Whisky” — was born in the small town of Takehara, Japan. At the time, Masataka's family owned a sake brewery, and in preparing to carry on the family trade, Masataka studied chemistry and biology at Osaka Technical High School. After graduating high school, Masataka showed more interest in whisky than in sake and in 1918, he enrolled at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, becoming the first Japanese ever to study the art of whisky-making. While in Scotland, Masataka took chemistry courses during the day while apprenticing with distilleries at night, learning to distill and blend whisky first-hand at some of Scotland's most prestigious distilleries. In 1920, Masataka returned to Japan, and within the decade, had produced the country's first single malt whisky.
In 1934, Masataka moved to the town of Yoichi and opened the doors to Nikka Whisky Co. Situated approximately 35 miles west of Sapporo City, Nikka's Yoichi Distillery is encapsulated by mountains (to the east, south and west) and by the Sea of Japan (to the north), creating a unique and isolated environment for the production and maturation of single malt whisky. The clean air, humidity and access to underground water filtered through a layer of peat results in a rich and masculine malt.
In 1960, as the Yoichi Distillery was reaching capacity, Masataka began searching for another suitable location in Japan to open a distillery. Following a three-year search, Masataka identified a wide forest valley at the junction of the Hirosegawa and Nikkawagawa rivers. The localized humidity from the rivers and surrounding hills, together with the quality of water from Nikkawagawa River, created the perfect location for a second distillery, which he named Miyagikyo.
Nikka Miyagikyo Japanese Single Malt Whisky is distilled and aged at the Miyagikyo Distillery, which is known for its lighter, more floral malts (as opposed to the heavier, more oily malts produced at Yoichi). Made from 100% malted barley and distilled in pot stills that are heated with steam as opposed to coal fire, Nikka Miyagikyo Japanese Single Malt Whisky is then aged in ex-sherry casks. As a result, the whisky has a delicate and modern aroma of bitter green apple, citrus zest, nougat and ginger, which leads to a palate filled with vanilla custard, nutmeg and cinnamon, along with a subtle smokiness. The finish is light and smoky, with notes of dried mango, breakfast cereal and honey.
Nikka Miyagikyo Japanese Single Malt Whisky is one of the rarer Japanese whiskies available in the entire United States — pick up a bottle today!
About Japanese Whisky
Although maybe not be the first Spirit you would think of when Japan is mentioned; the Japanese make one of the best types of whisky in the world. It’s heavily influenced by scotch but with smoother and delicate notes.
The history of the Japanese whisky is not even a century old, but in this short time, the Japanese blended and single malts have taken over the world by storm and can easily go against their whisk(e)y counterparts from across the globe.
Check out our impressive selection of Japanese whiskies, find your new favorite in the best Japanese whiskies bottles under $200, or explore our treasury of rare & hard to find Japanese whiskies.