Recognized as the “Father of Japanese whisky”, Nikka Whisky founder Masataka Taketsuru shaped the history of Japanese whisky, with the loving support of his Scottish wife Rita.


Masataka Taketsuru is born in Hiroshima, Japan on June 20th.


Rita is born in Kirkintilloch,
Scotland on December 14th


Masataka graduates from the Osaka technical high school for fermented food production.
Enters Settsu Shuzo Co., Ltd. in Osaka.


Settsu Shuzo sends Masataka to Scotland for its plan to produce Japanese whisky.
Masataka embarks from Kobe in July and arrives in Scotland in December after visiting wineries in San Francisco.

Masataka Taketsuru, son of a sake brewing family, enters the Settsu Shuzo Company which has a plan to produce the first authentic Japanese whisky. With a background in chemistry, the young man leaves for Scotland with the aim of discovering the secrets of whisky production.


After a Yoichi bottling is awarded the title of “Best of the Best” in an international blind tasting organized by Whisky Magazine in 2001 –the first time a non-Scottish whisky receives this honour– the recognition for the quality of Japanese malts and blends continues to grow among industry professionals, but also whisky connoisseurs and enthusiasts, making Nikka the most widely sold Japanese whisky brand in Europe.

Taketsuru would undoubtedly be pleased to know that his whiskies have gained a large following in Europe, the land where it all began.

WWA “Distillery Manager of the Year”

2016 – Koichi Nishikawa of Yoichi Distillery

ISC “Distiller of the Year”

2015 – Nikka Whisky

ISC “Trophy”

2019 – Taketsuru 25 years old
2017 – Nikka Coffey Malt
2015 – Nikka From the Barrel
2007 – Taketsuru 21 years old<

WWA “World’s Best Blended Malt”

2019 – Taketsuru 25 years old
2018, 2015, 2014, 2012 – Taketsuru 17 years old
2011, 2010, 2009, 2007 – Taketsuru 21 years old<

WWA “World’s Best Single Malt”

2008 – Yoichi 1987

Whisky Magazine “Best of the Best”

2001 – Single Cask Yoichi 10 years old