Blog posts of '2018' 'July'

Pairing Beer with Whisky - A Perfect Match ?
Pairing Beer with Whisky - A Perfect Match ?
When it comes to whisky and beer, the mind is likely to conjure up the image of sipping either as the recreational conclusion to a hard-working day. Beer is cooling, refreshing and quenches a thirst, whereas whisky is warming and a drink that begs to be savoured.
With two drinks that contrast so starkly, could pairing beer with whisky produce something downright delicious? Or is it a recipe for disaster?


Despite the final product being so different, whisky and beer have one surprising factor in common: the ingredients used to make both are fundamentally the same.

 To create whisky or beer, water, grain and yeast are needed. The process to make both are initially identical too – they both begin their life cycle with malting and mashing. The next stage – fermentation – is where the differentiation is made.

 At the stage of fermentation, whisky-making relies on the chemical process of adding the yeast in order to convert the sugars in the mix present into alcohol. The resulting solution is then distilled and matured for a minimum of three years.

 Beer is made by adding hops before the yeast during the fermentation process to flavour the alcohol and add “bitterness”. After this, the alcohol is bottled and artificially or “naturally” carbonated. The bottled beer may then be left to “age” for between a few weeks to a few months.

 Unlike beer with its added hops, the flavour of the whisky is largely derived as the result of external factors: the casks the alcohol is matured in, the location of said casks, the quality of the water source and so on.

 This said, although the process for making whisky and beer deviates during the fermentation process, it is not unusual from time to time to come across a beer or ale that tastes of whisky, making the relationship between the two more tangible.


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Coffey Still Innovation
Coffey Still Innovation


Named after its inventor Aeneas Coffey, this traditional 2-column continuous “Coffey still” produces quality grain whiskies initially intended for blended whiskies. First imported from Scotland in 1963, Nikka has remained faithful to these traditional stills, which retain more character and impart a distinct texture compared to more efficient, modern multi-column designs. Operating these old stills requires a special expertise, which Nikka has continued to cultivate over the years.


While the distillation process can be traced to Nikka’s historical roots, innovative applications of these techniques are where the creative process takes place. This is especially true for the Nikka Coffey range, which started with a bold move to release a pure Coffey-distilled grain whisky bottling in 2012, followed by a Coffey-distilled 100% malt whisky two years later.

The success of these two whiskies inspired Nikka to extend the “Coffey” range, and showcase the characteristics of the unique distillate through different spirit categories. It was more than 3 years ago that Nikka’s Chief Blender Tadashi Sakuma created the first prototype of “Coffey” gin.


Since the development officially started in early 2016, countless trials were carried out in order to finally achieve their ideal base spirits and blending formulas. Corn and malt are distilled separately, and then blended to precision at different ratios for the two expressions.

Rather than using a neutral base spirit, Nikka relied on their expertise in Coffey still distillation and their founder Masataka Taketsuru’s legacy of blending expertise to develop truly original additions to the gin and vodka categories.


Distilled in Nikka Whisky’s signature “Coffey Still”, the rich and mellow spirit at the heart of this gin is characterized by a luxurious and silky texture. In addition to traditional gin botanicals, its stunning aromatic complexity relies on the refreshing burst of Japanese citrus such as Yuzu, Kabosu, Amanatsu and Shikuwasa, the delicate fruitiness of apples, and pleasantly tangy hints of Japanese Sansho pepper on the finish.


This refined vodka is the purest expression of the signature “Coffey Stills” which produce Nikka Whisky’s outstanding grain whiskies. With decades of experience in distilling white spirits as well as whisky, Nikka’s vodka perfectly captures the extremely smooth and delicate taste of the Coffey-distilled corn and barley spirits. Each spirit is distilled separately and skillfully blended.
The formula is perfected with minimal filtration using white birch charcoal to deliver precise balance and mellow texture.


An essential component of Nikka Whisky’s blends, the Coffey Grain is a single grain whisky, distilled mainly from corn in a Coffey still located at the Miyagikyo distillery. Exotic, fruity and unique, it offers a new perspective on grain whisky.


Is the result of a unique distillation process in “Coffey” type column stills, which are normally used for grain whisky production.
As such, this unique 100% Coffey malt is categorized as a grain whisky, and offers a surprisingly rich texture with deep oaky notes.

Unfortunately these great products are not available in South Africa as legilation does not allow the import of 70cl bottles into the country.

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Published by Paul John Whisky, USA on May 29, 2018.

Paul John Flagship Expressions BRILLIANCE & BOLD and Select Cask PEATED received the exceptional and prestigious Double Gold medal at the highly recognized San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018.  Our other expressions Paul John Edited and Select Cask Classic won Gold Medals while Our Zodiac Series Kanya won the Silver Medal. This is the second consecutive year where all our expressions have earned a medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. 

Select Cask Peated had bagged the Double Gold medal in the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition as well. Winning medals from this prestigious SFWS committee is an extremely great achievement for John Distilleries. The competition received more than 2200 entries this year and we are tremendously proud to emerge as winners.

Established in 2000, San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the oldest and the most influential international spirits competition in United States of America. The jury comprises of seasonal experts in the spirits industry. The judging is based on a blind tasting where the whiskies are evaluated on an individual basis and not compared with the other entries. A Double Gold Medal is awarded to an entry when a Gold Medal rating is received by all the members of the judging panel.

About Paul John 

Paul John Single Malt Whisky is an award-winning premium spirit distilled in the tropics of Goa, India. Crafted from six-row barley grains that are grown across the vast lands of Rajasthan and the foothills of the Himalayas, this superb single malt is aged for a minimum of five years. Carefully crafted during each stage of the whiskey-making process, its sweet and smoky aromatics have made this award-winning whisky a standout among connoisseurs and whisky lovers around the world. Paul John Single Malts have been rated Liquid Gold and the latest release Kanya has won Best Asian Whisky Award 2018 by Jim Murray, Whisky Bible. In 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, our Bold Expression received the ‘Best Other Whisky’, Edited and Select Cask Peated won the Double Gold medals and Brilliance and Select Cask Classic each won Silver medals.

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