Gah, so originally I thought that it was “coffee” not “coffey.” Silly me. It uses a cylindrical still instead of a pot still that’s normally used for grain whisky – which is a big thing apparently. My bad! It still has a subtle COFFEE taste and I don’t mind that at all. Here are my tasting notes:
SPIRIT: Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky
ABV: 90 Proof
COST: ~$65-90 for a 750ML Bottle
COLOR: Has a golden color and the liquid looks very pure – almost like a golden crystal. Doesn’t have a lot of viscosity.
SMELL: Alcohol is strong. Subtle coffee smell and a bit charred. Faint traces of oak.
NEAT: Not as much alcohol as the smell. Sweet and nutty – very smooth. The finish burns a bit and has a slight tartness. The burn is not unpleasant and overall, it comes off as a bit juicy.
WATER: Brings out the coffee flavors as well as a nutty/pecan smell. Enhances all the sweeter notes and is a much smoother drink. Wonderful experience.
ROCKS: Muddles all the flavors. Hard to taste the tartness or even the coffee. Not as much burn from the alcohol. Overall, takes the whisky a step back.
VERDICT: This is a very solid drink. The flavors are elegant and subdued. They don’t mask the fact that you’re drinking liquor and it has just the right amount of burn. However, if you have to pay standard price for a bottle ($90 and up), I’m not sure it’s worth the price of admission. But it’s a nice change of pace flavor wise and, if you’re like me, a nice break for the smokey goodness of Islay scotches. It’s good to have variety.