Latest update: October 6th 2008
















Back in 1918, an ambitious young man, still in his mid-twenties, journeyed to Scotland to learn the art of whisky making. His name was Masataka Taketsuru, and he was destined to become the 'Father of Japanese Whisky'. After learning the authentic techniques of whisky making, young Taketsuru returned to Japan with the conviction that distilling was a 'craft of letting nature do its work'. In 1934 he settled in Yoichi Town in Hokkaido, a northern prefecture with a climate similar to Scotland, and founded Dainippon Kaju Co. Ltd., the forerunner of the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Ltd. Proceeding with the utmost care, Taketsuru selected natural ingredients, tested them, blended them, and left them to age naturally, with minimal intervention. The craft he developed through his long years of lovingly and painstakingly perfecting techniques is still used at Nikka Whisky. Though far from efficient by economical standards, the process is authentic. 

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, was determined to introduce an authentic Japanese whisky of high quality for a reasonable price. Nowadays Nikka is proud to offer the Taketsuru Series, a series of pure malt whiskies carefully selected from Nikka's premium stock of smooth, well-aged malts.

The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. contains of two distilleries. The Hokkaido Plant or Yoichi Distillery stands in the brisk, clean air of Hokkaido, home to Japan's warmest, richest malt whiskies. The entire region is unspoiled, with the scenic Shakotan Peninsula to the west, the canal town Otaru to the east, and the Kiroro and Niseko ski resorts to the south. Nikka's second malt whisky distillery, Miyagikyo Distillery or Sendai Plant, is sited in the peaceful landscape of Michinoku (the Tohoku district). In the same region, nearby the Sakunami Hot Spring outlying Sendai and the beautiful Hirose River valley, another distillery produces cafe grain, a grain whisky that Nikka blends with its malt whisky.

The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. is part of the Asahi Breweries Ltd.