The company operates a number of distilleries and other facilities in Japan, including two Japanese whisky distilleries, the Yoichi distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaid┼Ź (established in 1934), and the Miyagikyo distillery in Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Northern Honsh┼ź (established in 1969). It also owns the Ben Nevis Distillery (acquired in 1989) in Scotland.

The founder, Masataka Taketsuru, travelled to Scotland in 1918 to learn the process of distilling Scotch whisky first hand. He studied organic chemistry under Prof. T. S. Pattersonat the University of Glasgow and malt whisky production at the Hazelburn distillery, in Campbeltown near the Mull of Kintyre. He married Jessie Roberta (“Rita”) Cowan, the daughter of a Glasgow doctor, and returned with her to Japan in 1920. In 1923 he joined Kotobukiya (currently Suntory) and helped to establish a distillery before starting Nikka in 1934.

Nikka produces a wide variety of Japanese whiskies, ranging from ┬ą900 (per 700ml bottle) Black Nikka sold in Japanese convenience stores, to the ┬ą15,750 (per 750ml bottle) Nikka Single Cask. In 2008, Yoichi 20 Year Old was voted best single malt at the World Whiskies Awards.

Black Nikka is a 37% alcoholic whisky, available at corner stores throughout Japan in 180, 300, 700, 1800, 1920, 2700, and 4000 mL bottles. Individual servings, pre-mixed with soda or water, are also available. As of 2009 Nikka decided to rename the Black Nikka brand to just “BLACK” for unknown reasons.

Nikka is currently owned by Asahi Breweries.