Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nikka to launch new Coffey Malt exclusive to Europe

Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo

The people at Nikka have just announced that they will be adding a new product to their portfolio in January 2014: a standard (i.e. not single cask) Coffey Malt. [Regular Nonjatta readers will know that Nikka’s ‘Coffey malt’ is quite simply malted barley distilled in a Coffey still – a whisky category that doesn’t exist in Scotland. There have been single cask releases in the past, both in Japan and occasionally for La Maison du Whisky in France, but this is the first time Nikka has made this part of their output available as part of the permanent line-up.] The Coffey Malt will complement the Coffey Grain that has been on the market for a little over a year already.

Interestingly, the new Coffey Malt will only be available in Europe. This may ring a bell or two... In September 2012, Nikka launched a standard Coffey Grain expression in Europe which came in 500ml bottles. In June 2013, they also started selling this expression in Japan, albeit in 700ml bottles. The new Coffey Malt for Europe will be in 700ml bottles, and for the Coffey Grain they are also switching to that size in Europe, so basically, everything will be 700ml from January of next year. Both expressions are bottled at 45% and both will be priced at around 53 euro.

This is exciting news and further proof that Nikka is taking its presence in markets abroad (Europe and the US, in particular) very seriously. Sales abroad have been up 160% this year compared with last year (i.e. 2012). Fans here at home are no doubt hoping the same pattern (an initial release in Europe, followed by a roll-out in the domestic market) will be followed with the Coffey Malt.


andyhohoho said...

Good effort to make more variety available outside of Japan, but having said that, I feel they could also look at releasing more single cask offerings in the future.

Stefan Van Eycken said...

Couldn't agree more. They used to release a fair bit of single casks, but this year has been pretty miserly. Here's hoping they've got more lined up for next year.

andyhohoho said...

Indeed... nothing quite like the excitement/anticipation of an impending new (single cask) release. On the side, I'm still dreaming for a permanent line of ex-sherry cask offerings to materialise.