Nikka Super Rare Old is a story of love and spirit across time and space.
Masataka Taketsuru was the son of a Sake producer. As a young man, he was sent to Scotland to learn the secrets of Whisky. He did… but he also learned about love. He met Rita Cowen — a Scottish lass whom he married and took back to Japan with him. He remained employed by other spirits makers for a few years, but Rita encouraged him to step out on his own. In 1934, he founded Yoichi Distillery that came to be a great success.
Yoichi Distillery lies in southern Hokkaido and is surrounded on three sides by mountains, a terrain much similar to the one Taketsuru found in Scotland. Yoichi possesses its own cooperage and is particularly careful when selecting its hogshead barrels, which are made on-site using new oak. Yoichi produces big, oily Whiskies in the Highland style.
Taketsuru was doing great — making a range of whiskies as Japan’s first master distiller. In 1961, Rita — the love of his life — passed away. He knew that the best way to demonstrate his affection was to make a Whisky masterpiece… one of the loves that they shared as a couple. He chose his oldest and finest single-malt spirits and made the Super Nikka Rare Old , released the following year in 1962. Rare full bottles still come up for auction.
The current masters at Nikka decided to do it all again. They purchased and tested one of the rare surviving 1962 Super Nikka bottles from a private collection. Then they aged and blended and tested until they got it just right. The result … Nikka Super Rare Old Whisky. It is a heavier, thicker Whisky more true to the original than the more commercial flasks that have made the rounds.
It is a special release from a special source and a hallmark from a special time in the Whisky history of Japan. Watashi wa anata no kenkÅ ni nomimasu (I drink to your health).