The story of Nikka is also the story of Masataka Taketsuru (1895-1979).
From 1923 to 1934 Masataka Taketsuru worked at Kotobukiya Ltd. as the distilling master. After he left Kotobukiya Ltd. in 1934 he established his own company Dainipponkaju Co. Ltd. and built his first whisky distillery called Yoichi. The first single malt from Nikka was the famous
"Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky".
It was released into the market in 1940 and it is still available today. In 1952 the name of Dainipponkaju Co. Ltd. was changed into Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Ltd. because of the great success of Nikka whiskies. Today Nikka is part of Asahi Breweries LTD.
Nikka home page: http://www.nikka.com/eng/index.html
Please click the picture to see my Nikka whisky minibottles collection!
Suntory was established in 1899 by Shinjiro Torii (1879-1962) as a little store called "Torii Shoten" in Osaka. Later in 1921 the store changed into a whisky company called Kotobukiya Ltd. This company had produced the first Japanese single malt whisky made of genuine malts from Japan's first whisky distillery Yamazaki from 1923/1924 on. This whisky was released in 1929 into the markets and was called"Suntory Whisky Shirofuda", better known as "Suntory Whisky White Label". It is still available today. In 1963 the company was renamed from Kotobukiya Ltd. into Suntory Ltd. because of the great success of Suntory whiskies.
Please click the picture to see my Suntory whisky minibottles collection!