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Nikka Coffey Grain

Average score from 6 reviews and 12 ratings 84

Nikka Coffey Grain

Product details

  • Brand: Nikka
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 45.0%

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Nikka Coffey Grain

Both Yoichi and Miyagikyo single malts are distilled in traditional pot stills, but the company Nikka also has several column stills as well, called Coffey stills. Those are used to create both grain and single malt whisky. Nikka has bottled these as Coffey Grain and Coffey Malt. Let us put these head-to-head, starting with the grain. The nose is very sweet on vanilla, toffee and all kinds of sugar, but it also has a chemical side. Think wood glue or varnish. It is not disturbing, but does stand out. In the background I find a hint of bitter oranges, but just a hint. Good body. Very oily and soft on the spices. Reminds me a bit of bourbon now. Honeysweet again with mostly vanilla and toffee, but also some raw sugar. The hint of oranges returns and is joined by some coconut. The spiciness increases and even becomes quite dominant. The finish is not very long, but does remain spicy and sweet. So this is the in-house grain, distilled in a column still, that is used in the famous Nikka blends, such as the Super Rare and Super Revival. Around 55 EUR, just like the Coffey Malt.

I received a bottle of this as a gift last Christmas. I've been loving it; I would have rated it higher, mid-high 80s. But that's me...


Bought this bottle at Narita International Airport during the trip in Japan. Nikka Coffey Grain is a single grain distilled in Coffey stills and mainly made of corn. This bottle has been opened for 9 months.

Nose: Vanilla, dried herbs, toffee, banana and cream.

Palate: Soft with moderate sweetness, clearly a corn whisky. Milk chocolate, pudding, cereal, apple, honey, and more vanilla.

Finish: Short and plain, a bit dry. Caramel, green vegetable and oak.

Balance: As expected, this corn-driven whisky is soft, sweet, smooth and no flaws like most classic Japanese whiskies, but lacking some kick and backbone on the other hand.

Overall: Despite being the shadow of most cheap Nikka blends, this single grain shows some interesting character, but nothing special in the flavor profiles. It really struggles to beat malts, maturation for a few more years or try different types of casks may help. Would it be possible for Nikka to make a rye whisky next?

@mystycreek, thanks for your review. I've had Nikka Coffey Single Grain whisky from different bottles at different times with different results. Some have been merely OK, in keeping with your experience as described in this review. At other times I have found the Nikka Coffey Single Grain whisky to be outstanding in its vividness and deliciousness. I'd want to sample from the batch being sold before considering buying a bottle.

Nice review @mystycreek. Been wanting to pick up a bottle of Nikka Coffey Grain for a while, might just do that this weekend.


It's April and we're having the third worst snow storm of the winter. Time for a review.

This sample is courtesy @Paddockjudge, who opened the bottle with me on Dec. 19 2015, and the sample was poured at the same time. It is tasted and reviewed in my usual manner.

Nose: Fruity, light syrup, cinnamon, green apple, creaminess. 22/25

Taste: Fruit, sweet and sour, light, tasty but not very complex 21/25

Water doesn’t change this whisky but amplifies what is there.

Sweet finish 21/25

Balance: The nose and the palate complement each other well. 22/25

Total Score: 86/100

Like many Japanese whiskies, There are no flaws in this. It’s a very tasty, clean, no impurities. But it is not as complex as some other whiskies. There is no mystery or intrigue.

I picked up a bottle of this last year and found it to be in line with your review. Sweet, approachable, and easy to drink with all the edges rounded off. Nothing wrong with the whiskey, but nothing to demand your attention either.

Thanx for the review mate , geard great things about Nikka whisky on the site .


These notes are based on a generous pour of Nikka, courtesy of my uncle. I didn't plan on reviewing it, but the Coffey Grain surprised me so much I ended up writing one anyway.

Nose: Sweet, citrus notes, towards grated orange rinds. There is an overall solid fruitiness to this whisky, complemented by spices. The nose has a character reminiscent of a quality bourbon, with pleasant vanilla and oak notes.

Palate: Quite a bit of sweetness from the corn. I also found a lot of barley on my palate, which was a pleasant surprise. The spicy notes had me thinking of a rye whiskey as well, with cinnamon and warming pepper. Curiously enough, I got a tiny initial hint of salt, but it passed rather quickly.

Finish: The finish was the least interesting part of this dram, not quite living up to the nose and palate. Spicy heat from cinnamon and pepper, with a good amount of sweetness and some caramel. The finish is reasonably long, but turned a bit sour towards the end.

Comment: I found this whisky to be very enjoyable, and I'll make sure to have a bottle in my cabinet.

@Fiberfar, I don't know the industrial specs here, but if I had to guess, I would guess;

1) Nikka Coffey Grain is 100% corn whisky. I don't taste any wheat here

2) unlike Scottish "grain whisky", this is probably NOT distilled at the near-vodka 90+% abv distillation proofs, then typically diluted down to 40%. This has the sort of vibrant flavour left when distilled at much lower ABV, and then not ridiculously diluted

I checked nikkawhisky.eu, which seems to be their European website, and it states the following:

"An essential component of the house blends, the Nikka Coffey Grain is an original single grain whisky, distilled mainly from corn in a Coffey still."

What they put in the term "mostly" is anybody's guess, I suppose.

I agree with you on point 2, absolutely no feeling of this being diluted. Good point!


No, it's not coffee-infused whisky. This a 100% corn whisky distilled from a Coffey Still designed by an Irish tax collector named Aeneas Coffey. The Coffey design still allows a greater portion of the spirit to re-circulate rather than leaving the still and deposit into the receiver. It is supposed to make a lighter, more refined whisky. This bottle has been opened for about three months. let's dig in!

Nose: Sweet corn. Thin caramel (if that makes any sense.) A bit sharp. A touch of oak. Vanilla. A bit herbal.

Palate: Arrives sweet. Tons of Pure, fresh vegetal corn. Reminiscent of freshly boiled corn-on-the-cob. A bit medicinal.

Finish: The sweetness continues strong, then it transforms into a interchanging dance between sweet and bitter. Finishes herbal with a touch of caramel.

This bottle was a gift from my brother for my birthday. He knows that I admire anything Japanese, especially their whiskies. So naturally, Nikka came to mind. I'm glad he went for this. It's good. It's vibrant, yet elegant. Of course, when it comes to complexity corn can not compare any way near barley. But i'm really enjoying this. Its a nice break between single malts.


After trying 2 Single Grains and some positive japanese whisky experiences, i decided to buy a bottle of this one.

Its "Nikka Coffey Grain", a single grain whisky made primarily of corn and distilled in Coffey Stills (more often called "Column Stills")

Color is a very bright yellow.Nose: starts very very fresh and sweet, notes of corn, vanilla,maybe a bit burnt caramel.After a few seconds i get more and more spices and almost toasted oak.Maybe a bit reminiscent of bourbon, bit not exactly.

Taste: Wonderful soft and richt mouthfeel,almost like syrup.Sweet corn,vanila and some hints of tropical fruits.Finish starts sweet also but fades more and more into oaky notes.

To me, this is another wonderful example of how good single grain whisky can be.Its definetly not as complex as single malt, but very drinkable and highly enjoyable!

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