Whisky Connosr

Nikka Coffey Malt

Very Smooth. Very Smooth.

0 589

@MaltActivistReview by @MaltActivist

4th Oct 2014


Nikka Coffey Malt
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Coffey stills also known as Continuous or Column stills were invented by French born Irishman Aeneas Coffey and are mainly used to distill grain whisky. Whisky made from malted barley is distilled in pot stills.

I could go into the rather lengthy explanation on the difference between the two but I won't. Let's just say that copper pot stills require two separate distillations to produce new make and must be done in batches.

Coffey stills on the other hand employ a rather unique method where the wash and the resulting alcohol vapors are run continuously through the two columns (hence, Continuous stills) to create an extremely high strength liquid (as high as 95%).

Nikka decided that it would be a good idea to run 100% malted barley through Coffey stills just to see what happens. This process is unheard of in Scotland making Japan the only place in the world where this kind of spirit is produced. There is also a Coffey Grain Whisky from Nikka to go along with this.

This is actually a rather new addition to the Nikka lineup having only been launched in January 2014.

My particular sample is a NAS bottling at 45%. There is precious little information on it's maturation or it's age. But if I was to hazard a guess I would peg it any where between 6-8 years with a sherry finish.

Nose: Bourbon like. Chocolate. Leather. Honey. Maple syrup. Marzipan. Ripe bananas. Stewed apples. Raisins. Figs. Fruit cake. Almonds. Cinnamon. A very sweet nose almost dripping with thick brown sugar and molasses.

Palate: Apples. Black pepper. Fruit cake. Tobacco leaf. Creme caramel. Toffee. Madeira cake. Cinnamon. Coffee beans. Very smooth delivery but which feels a touch under-powered. I would have liked a little zing but it stays soft.

Finish: Long. Oily. Tobacco lead. Cinnamon dust. Mild chocolate.

I think by running 100% malted barley in Coffey stills Nikka have come up with quite a unique flavor profile. The strong tobacco leaf and apple combination is quite nice. I'll be trying the Nikka Coffey Grain (made from corn) next for a little head-to-head comparison.

Till then I'm quite happy to nurse this one for a while.

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vrudy6 commented

My brother just gave me a bottle of the Nikka Coffey Grain as a b'day gift this past weekend--very good indeed. When he went to buy this and read the label, he thought he was buying me a whisky infused with coffee. He thought it would be an interesting combo knowing that I'm a serious coffee freak. To then realize that it was the name of the still designer.

It's interesting reading your review and comparing it to my experience with the grain version. I will be be reviewing the grain version in the coming days. Giving it such a good score, I must find me a bottle of the Malt version asap. Great review as always!!

9 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I can get the 12, 17 or 21 YO. Which did you try? Which do you recommend?

9 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

@vrudy6 that's too funny. Though, I must admit I thought along similar lines when I first heard about it! Will plan a h-2-h with the grain whisky and report back.

@rigmorole not sure if there are that many age statements for this expression. They released a few 12 yr old single casks but I think that's about it. And I never got the chance to taste them. The one I tried is a NAS made from 100% barley and some reports say not more than 6-9 years. My bottle is a French import.

9 years ago 0

PeatyZealot commented

Saw this one in Paris for the 1st time, but the store wasnt open(!) There is a similar expression from the same still, but from a single grain. I think Rigo means the regular Nikka age statement line. I think it would be wise to start at the 12 and see if you like the character. Plus, in younger Nikkas the peat is still detectable:)

9 years ago 0

Victor commented

Haven't had this one yet. Their Corn whisky is delicious.

Glad to hear that you like this one.

9 years ago 0