14 Sep Nikka Coffey Gin & Vodka
While Nikka is primarily known for its awardwinning whiskies, the company also has a long history of distilling white spirits for the domestic market, including gin and vodka. For the first time, Nikka has developed stunning new gin and vodka expressions based 100% on their Coffey still distillate.
Named after its inventor Aeneas Coffey, this traditional 2-column continuous “Coffey still” produces quality grain whiskies initially intended for blended whiskies. First imported from Scotland in 1963, Nikka has remained faithful to these traditional stills, which retain more character and impart a distinct texture compared to more efficient, modern multi-column designs. Operating these old stills requires a special expertise, which Nikka has continued to cultivate over the years.
Innovation Rooted in Tradition
While the distillation process can be traced to Nikka’s historical roots, innovative applications of these techniques are where the creative process takes place. This is especially true for the Nikka Coffey range, which started with a bold move to release a pure Coffey-distilled grain whisky bottling in 2012, followed by a Coffey-distilled 100% malt whisky two years later.
The success of these two whiskies inspired Nikka to extend the “Coffey” range, and showcase the characteristics of the unique distillate through different spirit categories. It was more than 3 years ago that Nikka’s Chief Blender Tadashi Sakuma created the first prototype of “Coffey” gin.
Since the development officially started in early 2016, countless trials were carried out in order to finally achieve their ideal base spirits and blending formulas. Corn and malt are distilled separately, and then blended to precision at different ratios for the two expressions.
Rather than using a neutral base spirit, Nikka relied on their expertise in Coffey still distillation and their founder Masataka Taketsuru’s legacy of blending expertise to develop truly original additions to the gin and vodka categories.