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Nikka Coffey Malt

Coffey Break

5 485

@VictorReview by @Victor

26th Jul 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky has no age statement. The reviewed bottle is owned by @Maddie. The whisky was sampled when the bottle was first opened and again 3 weeks later

Nose: strong intensity malt flavours mostly expressed as cereal with just hints of grassiness. This is mostly medium-pitched with a very good sweet-dry balance. There are light pleasant well-integrated wood flavours. Is there a hint of wine influence? Maybe, but just a hint. This is basic, but good. Water added increases the sweetness, raises the pitch, and bundles the flavours. Score: 21.5 points with and without water added

Taste: crisp pointed flavours present upon delivery, reflecting pointedly all three elements of barley, oak, and perhaps wine. Quite pleasant. Water added increases sweetness. Score: 22/25 points with and without water

Finish: medium length for the grain flavours, with the death occurring on wood (and wine if there is any here). This loses some balance proceeding throughout the finish. Water added bundles the flavours throughout the finish. Score: 20/25 with and without water

Balance: very good on the nose and delivery; fair to good on the finish. Score: 21/25

Total Sequential Score: 84.5 points


Strength: very strong nose flavours; strong palatal flavours; adequate strength on the finish. Score: 22/25

Quality: good to very good grain flavours; good albeit understated wood flavours; good to very good wine flavours (maybe). Score: 21/25

Variety: very adequate variety of flavours. Score: 21/25

Harmony: very good harmony on nose and delivery; fair to good harmony on the finish. Score: 21/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 85 points


Comment: I re-tasted this whisky after 3 weeks to see if anything new developed, but found it to be little changed after that period of time. Nikka Coffey Malt is a solid product with a basic approach. I am curious to see how the flavours of this bottle may change over months and years of air exposure. I consider Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky to be a good bottle, but not a "must-have"

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casualtorture commented

I've been eyeing this one at the shop. Nice to see a review from you again @Victor. It seems like it has been a while. I always appreciate your insights.

5 years ago 0

Victor commented

@casualtorture, thank you. I have a few more new reviews on tap to post within the next week or so.

I liked the Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky a little better than the Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky, but I saw a great difference between the two bottles of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky from which I tasted. One of them was downright fabulous, the other just good. After having had the fabulous one, I found the 'good' one to be a let-down. See if you can get a no-commitment taste of both the Nikka Coffey Malt and Grain whiskies if you can.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

RianC commented

Thanks for the nice review @Victor!

Japanese whisky is a bit of grey area for me. I've had two, Hibiki 12 and Nikka From the Barrel, and both were really enjoyable without being throat grabbingly good. Your review on this seems to suggest I'd find this in a similar vein?

I'd like to try more but can't help feeling that they are overpriced and, as such, I'm not prepared to take the plunge - both bottles I've owned were gifts - which is probably a shame.

5 years ago 0

Victor commented

@RianC, thanks for joining in.

The Japanese products have indeed become relatively expensive in most locations, and, as you know, the age-stated products have become generally hard to find. Even at the distilleries in Japan themselves one can come up empty when looking to buy Japanese age-stated products.

I have liked all of the Japanese whiskies which I have tried, but I don't go chasing them much now that prices have risen substantially over the last 5 or 6 years. You already know Nikka From the Barrel, which is one of the NAS ones which I myself like to have around (though I own none at this point).

Really, if you can pick up a bottle of Yamazaki 12 yo and/or Hakushu 12 yo I think that you are doing about as well as you can do today with respect to good quality at a price that, while not inexpensive, won't break the bank.

That little blended whisky Suntory Toki really surprised me by being a refreshing and rather flavourful addition to the line-up at a relatively low price. For those who like seasonality in their whisky selection, Toki is a quintessential summer whisky, sort of the Pinot Grigio of whiskies in brightness with more of a Chardonnay level of texture. If you want light and upbeat I do recommend Toki. .

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

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