Nikka Whisky Distilling
The company operates a number of distilleries and other facilities in Japan, including two Japanese whisky distilleries, the Yoichi distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaidō (established in 1934), and the Miyagikyo distillery in Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Northern Honshū (established in 1969). It also owns the Ben Nevis Distillery (acquired in 1989) in Scotland.
The founder, Masataka Taketsuru, travelled to Scotland in 1918 to learn the process of distilling Scotch whisky first hand. He studied organic chemistry under Prof. T. S. Patterson at the University of Glasgow and malt whisky production at the Hazelburn distillery, in Campbeltown near the Mull of Kintyre. He married Jessie Roberta ("Rita") Cowan, the daughter of a Glasgow doctor, and returned with her to Japan in 1920. In 1923 he joined Kotobukiya (currently Suntory) and helped to establish a distillery before starting Nikka in 1934.
After their deaths, the company was run by their adoptive son, Takeshi Taketsuru, who expanded its business substantially.
Nikka produces a wide variety of Japanese whiskies, ranging from ¥900 (per 700ml bottle) Black Nikka sold in Japanese convenience stores, to the ¥15,750 (per 750ml bottle) Nikka Single Cask. In 2008, Yoichi 20 Year Old was voted best single malt at the World Whiskies Awards.
Black Nikka is a 37% alcoholic whisky, available at corner stores throughout Japan in 180, 300, 700, 1800, 1920, 2700, and 4000 mL bottles. Individual servings, pre-mixed with soda or water, are also available. As of 2009 Nikka decided to rename the Black Nikka brand to just "BLACK" for unknown reasons.
Nikka is currently owned by Asahi Breweries.
- Ben Nevis
- From The Barrel
Distilleries and Plants
- Yoichi distillery, Hokkaido Plant (Yoichi, Hokkaido) - malt whisky distilling, bottling
- Miyagikyo distillery, Sendai Plant (Sendai, Miyagi) - malt whisky distilling, grain whisky production, bottling
- Hirosaki Plant (Hirosaki, Aomori) - cider, brandy and wine brewing, distilling, bottling
- Tochigi Plant (Sakura, Tochigi) - grain whisky storage & aging, re-storage of blended whisky
- Kashiwa Plant (Kashiwa, Chiba) - bottling
- Nishinomiya Plant (Nishinomiya, Hyogo) - liqueur bottling
- Moji Plant (Kitakyushu, Fukuoka) - shōchū distilling, bottling
- Ben Nevis distillery (Fort William, Scotland, UK) - Scotch whisky production
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