Nikka Whiskey is a pure malt Japanese Whiskey brand which is famous across the world. It is one of the oldest Scotch-Whiskey brands in Asia. It has been awarded the ‘World’s Best Blended Malt’ by the ‘World`s Whiskies Awards’ in 2014 and 2015. So, officially it is the World’s best as of now.
The founder of Nikka Whiskey is Masataka Taketsuru who has founded it in 1934. He was born into a well-known Sake brewing family in Hiroshima and he was extremely interested in learning Western brewing techniques. This made him go to Scotland where he learned how to distil Scotch Whiskey. His love for Scottish Whiskey further grew and motivated him to further enhance his knowledge. He studied Organic chemistry in Scotland where he experimented with different distillery processes. Later, he got married to a Scottish woman and returned to Japan to start new distilleries. With Japan being a conservative country, he has faced many problems with his interracial marriage and conflicts within his own family at that time. However, that did not stop him from becoming famous. His wife supported him in building Nikka and he is often referred to as ‘The Father of Japanese Whisky’.
The company owns and runs distilleries not only in Japan but also in Scotland. Nikka has bought famous Scottish distillery of Ben Nevis in the late 1980s. Currently, there is wide range of Nikka products available in almost every Japanese convenient store and bar. ‘Black Whiskey’ is on of the common Nikka products, but there are a few other such as ‘Yoichi’ which are also very popular. Yoichi is a unique Nikka product with distillery based in Hokkaido, and is actually the one that has won the Best Whiskey Award. Earlier, Nikka was owned by Suntory, but currently it is owned by Asahi Breweries. Nikka mainly produces Malt Whiskey, but it also offers other unique whiskey types such as ‘Coffee Whiskey’ and ‘Apple Cider Whiskey’, using plants from Tochigi and Hirosaki respectively. They also have a special high-end whiskey called ‘Samurai Whiskey’ with 43% alcohol.