Nikka was founded in 1940 by Masataka Taketsuru, after having overseen construction of Japan’s first whisky distillery: Yamazaki. Taketsuru was sent to Scotland in 1918 to learn about single malt production, and spent his time interning at the Hazelburn Distillery in Campbeltown. After working a ten year contract with Suntory, he left to build the Yoichi Distillery in 1934. Nikka owns and operates two distilleries: Yoichi Distillery on the island of Hokkaido, and the Miyagikyo Distillery in Sendai. In addition to single malt production, the Miyagikyo Distillery has a large Coffey column still used to make grain whisky for blending, as well as gin and vodka.