You’ve tried single malts and you’ve tried blended whiskies, but have you given single grain whiskies a try? Grain whiskies generally have a higher alcohol content than malt or blended; they also tend to be smoother than malt whiskies. However, very often, grain whiskies don’t quite have the killer edge offered by single malt (or blended) whiskies, meaning there are very few available.

Great grain whiskies do exist, however; in fact, both Nikka and Suntory make grain whiskies. Suntory does Chita, named after its grain distillery, Chita, and Nikka does Nikka’s Coffey Grain.

The Coffey Grain is named after the Coffey stills in Miyagikyo distillery. As mentioned several times prior, Coffey stills are not as efficient as modern stills, as they take much longer to operate and operators find them much more complex to use. The scent that they leave, on the other hand, is much stronger than that of the modern still. Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka, introduced these mills in 1963 and Nikka still uses them to this day. These mills are currently installed in the Miyagikyo distillery in Sendai and continue to be used for the production of grain whisky. The result? An extremely strong, exquisite scent! In fact, Nikka’s dedication, along with their refusal to exchange quality for technology and comfort, is one of the main reasons for the company being so highly regarded in Japan.

We think it is pretty safe to say that people are in agreement that Nikka Coffey single Grain whisky is, quite simply, amazing. The single grain is sweeter and fruitier than the Coffey Malt; it’s also rich, with a hint of toffee and even fruit. If you are thinking about giving grain whisky a go, then Nikka Coffey Grain is your best bet!

Henry Baldvin