It was thanks to Rhum Rhum that we became the distributor in Italy of several products, including Miyagikyo. It all started when with Vittorio 'Gianni' Capovilla we finally bottled our Rhum Rhum, with which we started our cooperation with Thierry Benitah and the Maison du Whisky. From this cooperation came the proposal to become distributors in Italy of the brands that Maison du Whisky distributes in Europe: Compass Box, Dad's hat, Sonoma County, Kavalan, Amrut Miyagikyo, Yoichi, Nikka.
In 1918, the young food technology graduate Masataka Taketsuru left for Scotland, sent by the sake company he worked for, with the assignment to learn how to make whisky. Until then, no producer in Japan had ventured into whisky production. It was in 1934 that Masataka Taketsuru set up his first owned distillery, Yoichi, on the island of Hokkaido. In 1940, Nikka's first bottling was released. In the meantime, Taketsuru began looking for the perfect place to build his second distillery. The choice fell on Miyagikyo, literally Miyagi Valley, near the city of Sendai. The plant will open its doors in 1969. We will have to wait until the new millennium to see the glittering return of Japanese whisky, now also loved by Europe and the USA who had never drunk it before.
The Nikka range consists of the four 'basic ingredients' produced by the distillery: Yoichi and Miyagikyo single malts, Nikka Coffey Grain and Nikka Coffey Malt. These blends, in ever-changing percentages/years/ageings, go to make up the numerous blended whiskies of the house, some sold only in the Japanese market, some only in export markets. Nikka From the barrel with its 51%vol is certainly the most iconic whisky in the range. Powerful and full-bodied, soft on the palate thanks to the cereal whisky component and with the famous square bottle resembling a perfume bottle.
Miyagikyo ospita due tipologie differenti di alambicchi: pot still alla scozzese con collo di cigno ascendente per ottenere un distillato più morbido, leggero e fruttato. E una doppia colonna Coffey degli anni ’60 importata dalla Scozia. Taketsuru aveva studiato e lavorato su questo tipo di impianto nel vecchio continente e per lui era necessario per produrre whisky più leggeri, dal forte carattere di cereale e vegetale. Il distillato a colonna Coffey, sia esso malto o cereali misti quali il mais, era l’ingrediente segreto per comporre una vasta gamma di blended whisky della Nikka. Attualmente i giapponesi hanno riportato i Blended Whisky ad un livello di prestigio prima disperso, i loro invecchiamenti vengono battuti all’asta per cifre record.