Nikka The Grain

Rumors are now brewing of a limited edition “Nikka The Grain” slated to drop in Japan on March 28th. The blend highlights the past and future of grain whisky distillation at Japan’s second-biggest whisky maker.

The unconfirmed rumors indicate Nikka The Grain will be a blend of grain whiskies from:

  • the Coffey still at Miyagikyo Distillery
  • that same Coffey still when it was at the soon-to-be-ex Nishinomiya Factory
  • Nikka Whisky Moji Plant
  • Satsuma Tsukasa Distillery

The latter two, both located in Kyushu, are probably less known to many readers. If these rumors prove true, Nikka The Grain would be the first public release of any variety of whisky from either site (albeit in a blended grain, rather than single grain).

We know Nikka’s barley shochu is made at their historic Moji Plant, so it comes as no surprise they’ve been toying with grain whisky distillation as well. The Satsuma Tsukasa Distillery was the subject of my own speculation back in 2019. Nikka Whisky got a whisky distillation license for Satsuma Tsukasa a mere four months after acquiring it, leading me to believe they intended to make whisky there. It turns out that hunch may have been right!

Returning to Nikka The Grain, we have no details on a price or abv. Instead, some tasting notes are floating around.

Nose: fresh marmalade and cider. Woody and vanillic. Sweet toasted grain, like toasted bread and cookies.
Palate: Rich spiciness of cinnamon and sweetness of corn. Freshness of rye with depth and body.
Finish: Slightly bittersweet finish. Clean and sharp.

I’ll update this article as we get more details.

UPDATE 2023/03/02: Nikka has confirmed the release. 700ml, 48% abv, and the price will be 13,200 yen after tax. There are 10,000 bottles slated for domestic release, and 10,000 bottles for a global release. This is the third release in the Nikka Discovery series.

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