Headed over to The Point in Damansara Heights on 21 August 2014 for an exclusive Nikka whisky tasting session facilitated by mixologist Ben Ng. On the tasting mat were four (4) variants of Nikka whisky namely Nikka Pure Malt Red, Black, White and Coffey Grain, and we also had some light bites from The Point to complement the session.
In 1918, Masataka Taketsuru embarked alone on a long voyage to Scotland to study chemistry at the University of Glasgow. He was the very first Japanese ever to study the art of whisky making and apprenticed at distilleries, learning first-hand from craftsmen and receiving training as a blender. In 1920 Masataka returned to Japan with Jessie Roberta (Rita), whom he had married earlier that year, and joined a company that aspired to make genuine whisky in Japan. He succeeded in producing Japan’s first whisky., however as Masataka’s vision of whisky was formed by his experience in Scotland, and he knew that the right environment was essential.
Thus to produce the whisky the way he wanted, Masataka established Nikka Whisky in 1934, and built its first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido. The distillery was rather inconveniently located, however Masataka considered to be the ideal site in Japan for whisky-making, similar in many ways to the Scottish town where he had studied. Rita stayed with Masataka and supported him in his whisky venture until her passing in 1961. Masataka passed on in 1979 and was buried together with his wife Rita in Yoichi making it quite a remarkable tale of whisky and love.
Today, Masataka’s legacy lives on through Nikka whisky which is internationally acclaimed and is distributed globally.
FYI Coffey Grain is NOT coffee flavoured whisky! It is by a man named Coffey hence the name. Nikka Pure Malt Red is great for easy drinking while Pure Malt Black has lots of flavours and depth. Pure Malt White is mainly for whisky lovers who like smoky whiskies. I can drink it but not too much in one sitting as my palate becomes saturated very fast.
BTW…please don’t ruin a nice Nikka whisky (or indeed any premium whisky) by adding Coca Cola or other mixers with it. Vodka exists for a reason. Use that instead.
All photos were shot with the Sony Alpha 5100. More info on the cam at http://www.sony.com.my/product/ilce-5100l?cid=[a5100]_MY_-_Alpha_a5100:sem:goog:MY:txt_brand:_sony_alpha_5100&pkw=_sony_alpha_5100