I’ve had the Coffey Grain, but I didn’t care too much for it so when Nikka reached out and asked if I’d like to try their Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky I was more than a little skeptical about how it was going to turn out. I’ll let the distillery tell you about the distillation process below, but in a nutshell it’s a malt whisky done in a grain whisky style.
In Nikka’s words: Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky
“The Nikka Coffey Malt is the result of a unique distillation process in “Coffey” type column stills, which are normally used for grain whisky production. This rare 100% malt bottling offers a surprisingly rich texture.”
Distilling malt in a Coffey, or continuous / column, still is fairly rare around the world as malt whisky is typically distilled in a pot still. I’ve read about some American Malt whiskeys being done in column stills so it’s not completely unique to Nikka, but on the whole is fairly rare. Now let’s go see if that “surprisingly rich texture” statement holds up in the Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky review below.
Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky Info
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky Review
Oily butterscotch, vanilla and malty sweetness with light bits of caramel, buttered pastries, fruit and spice. It’s a decent aroma, much more inviting than the Coffey grain’s.
Malt, fruit,nuts, vanilla, butterscotch, toasted pastries and light notes of spice, minerals and toasted grain. I like the aroma more than the palate, but the flavor is solid and inviting like the aroma.
Medium fade of butterscotch, malt, fruit, vanilla.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Decent sense of balance, medium bodied and slightly oily.
The first thing I should say is that I like the Nikka Coffey Malt whisky much more than their Coffey Grain whisky. This is a marked improvement over its sibling and is something I *might* pick up when I’m looking for a Japanese malt whisky. Though like a lot of Japanese whiskies it does come across as being quite light. It feels a little oily on the palate, but I don’t get a lot of depth out of the aroma or flavor.
Though if you’re looking for something different, and really want it to be a Japanese whisky, it’s not a terrible option. I’m a bigger fan of the Ohishi and Fukano stuff that’s beginning to come out, but that’s mostly in CA and is quite a bit different as it’s a rice-based whisky instead of malt based. So take that for what it is.
SCORE: 84/100 (B)
*Disclosure: This Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.