World WhiskiesIf you're looking to buy Indian whisky, Dutch Whisky, French whisky, Welsh Whisky or rare Japanese whisky online, Nicks Wine Merchants have whisky from every continent on earth assembled in one store. If you can't find it here, call us on 1800 069 295 and we'll try to track it down.
- ABV 45%
"...the gold standard of grain." - David Broom, Whisky Magazine.
Grain whiskies are almost entirely reserved for the blended whisky market, where the grain component can be thought of as the 'neutral canvas' background. The more robust and flavourful Single Malts represent the colours in the blender's palate. Grain whiskies aren't necessarily bland, but they do tend towards lighter, leaner styles. This is because the raw materials and the equipment used to make grain whisky are different than those found in the production of single malt. In grains, usually unmalted wheat or maize (corn) feature, together with a small amount of 'green' malt (barley which has germinated but not been kilned). Usually about 16% malt is added in order to convert the starches in the other cereals into sugar, so it can be turned into alcohol by the yeast.
The distillation process further sets grain whiskies apart: Rather than being pot distilled, they’re produced via column stills. Also known as 'Continuous' or 'Coffey Stills', this revolutionary invention from a French born, Irish raised Dublin Excise Officer, Aeneas Coffey, has forever changed the way most spirits are made. Significantly more efficient than the Pot still, column stills can produce a consistently light bodied and clean spirit to a pre-determined strength.
While the category is rarely marketed, there are several outstanding grain whiskies that are worth seeking out. Nikka's is one, and all the more unusual for being Japanese. Nikka have released a number of single cask Coffey distilled grain whiskies over the last few years. Now comes this larger scale offering, produced mainly from corn using their continuous Scottish-made Coffey stills at Miyagikyo. By all reports this is up there with the very best. Nothing but positive reviews on all fronts.
Tasting note: Brilliant gold. Superb scents of vanilla cream combined with sweet fruit - poached pear? Dried banana? Second pass finds tea biscuits, shortbread. Remains creamy throughout. Silky, almost oily delivery offers semi-sweet Irish pot still-like flavours: vanilla wafer, meusli, then added pepper to finish. Concludes sufficiently fresh, caramelly / vanilla heavy with short bread and lingering sugars in the aftertaste. Irish whiskey meets Venezuaelan rum. Delicious. 45% Alc./Vol.Other reviews… n24 Molten muscovado sugar; t24.5 Soft oils carry the thinned golden syrup aloft. Almost a semi-liqueur, but with that indefineable whiskyness which sets it apart...; f22.5 The slight bitterness of the cask jolts the serenity of the oily sugars; b23.5 whisky, from any part of the globe, does not come more soft or silky than this. 45% ABV... - 94.5 points (Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2015)
Sweet, with subtle, crisp, nutty oak, then comes fudge, ripe banana, and peach. The overall effect is like eating vanilla ice cream with toffee fudge and hazelnut sprinkles. The structure is thick and physical, the palate sweet and quite fat, with light hints of raspberry, fruit salad. A jag of acidity freshens the delivery on the finish. With water there’s more toffee, and it becomes slightly more yielding, with less oak. For me the gold standard of grain. 92 points - www.maltadvocate.com (Fall 2015) Reviewed by: Dave Broom
- ABV 45%
Jim Murray's Japanese Whisky of the Year 2018.Yet another first for Australia - Nikka decided to add their Coffey Malt to their core portfolio in 2014. It completes the Coffey range, originally launched in September 2012 with the Nikka Coffey Grain. Each offers insight into the whiskies that constitute the base of Nikka’s blends. This edition is produced from 100% malt, though technically it's not a single malt due to its distillation in Coffey stills (Nikka imported two from Scotland in 1963). Scheduled as a European exclusive, we're very fortunate to have received a tiny quantity into Australia. Tasting note: Brilliant deep gold colour. Semi-sweet aromas of creamy soda, creme caramel, vanilla bean and shortbread followed by flavours of butter menthol lozenge, cream biscuits and an ultra pure, high pitch vanilla bean, dried coconut finish that maintains excellent sweet/dry balance. Creamy soda and bounty bar aftertaste. A gorgeous, one of a kind, melt in your mouth malt that's a must try. 45% Alc./Vol. Other reviews... Now a hugely welcome part of the core range, this whisky—made in Coffey stills at the Miyagikyo distillery—uses 100% malted barley as its base. The nose is all tinned peach, tropical fruit juice, and baked banana, with a surprising green celery note, coconut, and sherbet. The palate is silky, with some chocolate, biscuity oak, and orange blossom honey. Water brings those green notes forward to add freshness to the peach cobbler sweetness. The grain revolution builds. 45% Alc./Vol.
89 points - www.maltadvocate.com, (Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Dave Broom
92Direct Import ReducedJAPAN
Reduced from $99.99
Here's one Japanese whisky we never expected to make its way into Australia. If you manage to secure one of these, congratulations: It will be a cause for conversation (and jealousy) amongst any collector with pretensions to completionism. Chita is the first new premium whisky brand that Suntory has launched in over a decade, and one which is usually only available in Japan's 'Nagoya' Prefecture as well as Suntory’s Whisky Shops in Osaka and Tokyo. Produced at Chita (aka "Sun Grain") Distillery, founded in 1972 and located in Aichi Prefecture, the whisky has been a regular source for blending with the award-winning Hibiki whiskies as well as other Suntory brands. There's not a great deal of information available regarding Chita - Suntory themselves remain silent with regard to production details. What is known is that the primary grain here is corn (though some malt is also used). Being corn based, like bourbon, the whisky is on the sweeter side. Reports have it that this is aged for around 12 years. There's unanimous praise across the web for this 'secret' gem, so we're extremely pleased to have secured an allocation. Other reviews... just like the nose, there is a bipolar feel to the shape of this grain, the delivery consumed by soft oils, yet a far more rigid note apparent, to which the oak appears to attach. 92.5 points - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2016
- ABV 43%
Direct ImportJAPAN$74.99 Bottle
Now discontinued. You know the shortages in Japanese whisky are for real when even large production grains and blends are being cut. 'Kakushiro', aka as 'Shirokaku' is a leaner, lighter expression of the ever popular Kakubin. According to a Forbes Magazine article in early 2019, "Suntory have announced even more whiskies will be discontinued.... the culled releases include blended whisky Shirokaku’s [Kakushiro] 700ml, single grain Chita’s 350ml bottles, and blended whisky Kakubin’s 450ml bottles (one of Japan’s best selling whiskies).... " 40% Alc./Vol.
- ABV 40%