Masataka aimed to make his blend more complex by widening the variety of whiskies and in 1967 he was exploring the northern part of the main island to find another ideal site for his second distillery. He came across a beautiful foggy glen surrounded by mountains and at a junction of two clean rivers. Once he tried the water from one of the rivers which is now the water source he was so impressed and immediately decided to build a distillery there. The name of the river was Nikkawa river by coincidence.
Masataka aimed to develop a complete contrast between Yoichi Distillery and Miyagikyo Distillery. Along with the different terroir the different distillation method of Miyagikyo creates distinctive malt whiskies. Miyagikyos pot stills are much larger than those at Yoichi with different shapes such as a bulge neck and ascending lyne arm. These pot stills are heated by indirect steam at a much lower temperature that allows slower distillation. This distillation method results in soft and floral characteristics in Miyagikyo Single Malt.
Miyagikyo Distillery produces grain whisky as well as malt whisky. The quality of grain whisky was one of the critical elements for Masatakas ideal blending.
The Coffey Still is a very traditional type of a continuous still which was invented by Mr Aeneas Coffey in 1830. Masataka became familiar with the Coffey Still during his time at Bo ness in Scotland and imported the first set in 1963. Despite its old fashioned structure and inefficiency, he valued the feature of the Coffey Still which retains more flavors originating from the grain itself. Today Nikka owns two sets of Coffey Stills both operating within the Miyagikyo Distillery. Coffey distilled whiskies and spirits are highly reputed in the world.
The Coffey Stills were first installed at the Nishinomiya plant and later transferred to Miyagikyo Distillery in 1999.