Nikka Whisky Distilling

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Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Ltd.
Native name
Nikka Uwisukī Kabushiki Gaisha
Founded1934; 89 years ago (1934), Yoichi, Hokkaido, Japan
FounderMasataka Taketsuru
OwnerAsahi Group Holdings

The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Ltd. (ニッカウヰスキー株式会社, Nikka Uwisukī Kabushiki-gaisha) is a producer of Japanese whisky and other beverages headquartered in Tokyo. It is owned by Asahi Group Holdings.

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.


Monument to Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky

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[1] 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.[2]

After their deaths, the company was run by their adoptive son, Takeshi Taketsuru, who expanded its business substantially.


A 50 cl bottle of From The Barrel
All Malt (left) and Malt Club (right) blended whiskies

Nikka produces a wide variety of Japanese whiskies, ranging from ¥900 (per 700 ml bottle) Black Nikka sold in Japanese convenience stores, to the ¥15,750 (per 750 ml bottle) Nikka Single Cask.[3] In 2008, Yoichi 20 Year Old was voted best single malt at the World Whiskies Awards.[4]

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.

Nikka has been owned by Asahi Group Holdings since 1954.[5]


  • Yoichi Single Malt
  • Miyagikyo Single Malt
  • From The Barrel
  • Taketsuru Pure Malt
  • Taketsuru Pure Malt 17-Year
  • Coffey Malt
  • Coffey Grain
  • Pure Malt Red
  • Pure Malt Black
  • Pure Malt White
  • All Malt
  • Blended
  • Ben Nevis

Distilleries and plants[edit]

One of the buildings of Yoichi Distillery
Yoichi Distillery



  1. ^ "University of Glasgow :: Story :: Biography of Masataka Taketsuru". Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  2. ^ The Founder: Father of Japanese Whisky, Nikka distillery official website.
  3. ^ "洋酒ショップ - 商品詳細". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
  4. ^ "Japanese malt scotches rivals | The Japan Times Online". Archived from the original on 2008-05-28.
  5. ^ "Asahi Group Holdings | Scotch Whisky". Retrieved 11 July 2019.


External links[edit]