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Japanese Whisky

The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Ltd. (ニッカウヰスキー株式会社) is one of the main producers of Japanese whisky and other beverages headquartered in Tokyo. Enjoyed daily in Malta & Gozo

 

Masataka_Taketsuru_Nikka_Founder

In 1918, Masataka Taketsuru embarked alone on a long voyage to Scotland. In this distant land the secrets of whisky-making would be imparted to this young Japanese man.

Masataka Taketsuru was born in the coastal town of Takehara (now Takehara City) about 60km from Hiroshima City. The Taketsuru family owned a sake brewery that goes back to 1733, and continues to produce fine sake today, in 2004. Taught early on that sake making is a painstaking fine art, Masataka studied diligently and trained at university as an organic chemist, at the University of Glasgow, preparing to carry on the family trade.

Masataka Taketsuru was born in the coastal town of Takehara (now Takehara City) about 60km from Hiroshima City. The Taketsuru family owned a sake brewery that goes back to 1733, and continues to produce fine sake today, in 2004. Taught early on that sake making is a painstaking fine art, Masataka studied diligently and trained at university as an organic chemist, at the University of Glasgow, preparing to carry on the family trade.

However, Scotch whisky captured the young man's imagination, as well as the interest of few other enterprising Japanese of that day. He decided to dedicate his life to whisky. In 1920 Masataka returned to Japan. Later joining a company that aspired to make genuine whisky, he succeeded under its employment in producing Japan's first whisky.

Masataka's vision of whisky was formed by his experience in Scotland, and he knew that the right environment was essential. However, it was becoming apparent that in order to produce whisky as he felt it had to be, he would have to become independent. Thus in 1934 Masataka established Nikka Whisky, and built its first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, which-- though inconveniently located-- he had always considered to be the ideal site in Japan for whisky-making, similar in many ways to the Scottish town where he had studied.

Masataka established Nikka because he was determined to introduce his fellow Japanese to the joys of authentic whisky. In the decades since, as his company developed. Never did he allow it to be sacrificed in favor of efficiency.

The company operates a number of distilleries and other facilities in Japan, including two Japanese whisky distilleries, the Yoichi distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaidō (established in 1934), and the Miyagikyo distillery in Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Northern Honshū (established in 1969).

  •     Yoichi Distillery produces rich, peaty and masculine malt. The whisky gets its distinct aroma and body from direct heating distillation, in which the pot stills are heated with finely powdered natural coal--the traditional method that is hardly ever used today, even in Scotland.
  •     The MIYAGIKYO Distillery was selected for whisky production because of its clean air, just the right humidity for storage, and abundant underground water filtered through a layer of peat. Sendai's fresh water, suitable humidity and crisp air produce soft and mild malt.
Please see Japanese Whisky here.
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