japanese whiskies


Recommended Posts

from the vinepair site.

 

7 Japanese Whiskies You Should Buy Right Now


If the shortage of Japanese whisky in the world proves one thing, it’s that the spirit is more popular than ever. Japanese whisky (without the “e”), started in the early 1900s. It’s since gained respect in the whisky drinking community, and Japanese whiskies regularly top, or sit near the top, of yearly rankings.

Style-wise, Japanese whisky models flavors from the same place it models the spelling of whisky: Scotland. It’s also, like Scotch, generally on the higher end of the price spectrum. There are some affordable ones out there, however. In general, Japanese whisky is well worth the price. Here are seven of the best you can find.

Suntory Toki

 

Suntory Toki
 

Toki is a blend from three major distilleries: Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chita. It’s affordable at around $45, so you won’t feel guilty about mixing it into cocktails and highballs. It’s got a little bit of a honeyed sweetness, as well as vanilla and coconut. Toki is an affordable way to ease into Japanese whisky.

 

Hakushu 12 Year

 

Hakushu 12 Year
 

If you want to taste something that really shows off the Scotch influence on Japanese whisky, reach for the Hakushu. It’s a single malt, meaning it’s from one distillery, peated, and pot-distilled. It’s smokey from the peat, yet still lighter in taste thanks to fruit and honey notes.

 

Suntory Chita Grain Whisky

 

Chita
 

Chita is harder to come by than some of the more popular Japanese whiskies in the U.S. If you find it, though, it’s a value you’ll want to return to. It’s a light golden mango color, with hints of mango on the palate as well. There’s a slight honey sweetness that makes it perfect for cocktails or as a lighter-end whisky to drink on the rocks.

 

Nikka Yoichi 12 Year

 

drinkup-8
 

Another offering for people who love a good Scotch. Yoichi is a peaty single malt that’s reminiscent of something you would get out of northern Scotland. At around $250, it’s not something you’ll want to throw around. Its subtle sweetness, oak cask flavor, and notable smoke make it perfect for sipping neat on special occasions.

 

Hibiki Harmony Blended

 

Hibiki Harmony
 

Hibiki means resonance in Japanese, and the Harmony, which doesn’t have an age statement, will have you feeling resonant with Japanese whisky. It’s a blend that emphasizes an orange-citrus-sherry flavor while maintaining a bit of smokiness. Then it touches five different barrels that lend a bit of oak flavor. Balance is key to Japanese whisky, and Harmony is all about balance.

 

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky

 

Pure Malt
 

The peaty smokiness of Taketsuru Pure Malt is balanced by a bit of coffee and chocolate. It’s named after the founder of the company, Taketsuru, and anything that a founder is willing to put his or her name on is respectable. Also, with a price generally falling around $60, it’s an affordable way to step into Japanese whisky.

 

Yamazaki 12 year

 

Yamazaki 12 Year
 

At $159, the Yamazaki 12 year is a whisky you’ll want to be sure of before you buy it. It’s not going to empty your wallet entirely (probably), but it’s not chunk change. Malty fruit and citrus notes at first taste with a bit of sweetness while it’s still in your mouth make it the perfect Japanese whisky to sit back and sip neat after a long day of work.

 

 

Published: January 31, 2017

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was in Tokyo in October I went into a store that had been recommended and after talking with one of the guys working there I picked up a bottle of the Hakushu 12 year on his recommendation. I've only had it once and it was good but obviously quite different than the scotch that I am more used to. Will have to give it another try soon.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting Ken 

after my trip to Japan a couple of years back I was a total convert to Japanese whisky,and have been trying to convert everyone else since ,my only regret is I didn't stock up whilst there the Yamasaki 18 year old I brought back is now worth $800 per bottle ? I have only a drop left now the hibikki 21 year old still has a reasonable amount left but is not a single malt 

Have had the yoichi none left now is a bloody good drop also 

a local bottle shop near me called Copper and Oak does little sample bottles of all sorts of spirits good way to try if not sure 

 

IMG_2688.JPGmy advice to any one who can lay their hands on any is to buy it you won't be disappointed 

cheers 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a long time since I've had the Yamazaki 12 so I won't comment on that one.

 

I recently had the Chita Grain. I haven't really had too many grain whiskies, but I wasn't a huge fan of this.

From memory I found some initial fresh fruitiness and then it was overtaken by the alcohol. Short to medium finish.

For the price it wasn't bad, but for my pallet I'm also not rushing out to buy. Many others seem to enjoy it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the article.

I ran into a friend who works for Jim Beam-Suntory at a wine & spirit show.  In addition of all their bourbons they distribute in NA and/own Highland Park, Macallan, Laphroig... some great distilleries.  We probably tasted 12-15 whiskies - includng the MaCallan rare cask ($400CAD a bottle), which I thought was too smooth and lacking character, the Highland Park Dark Origins (really good!), selling for $100CAD or so. The whisky that really stood out however was the Suntory Toki.  Soooo different: light, yet complex and showing lots of character.  A great "Summer" whisky imo, with a price tag of $60CAD - a real steal!  

There is not a lot of Japanese whiskies available in Canada - the Toki is one of the few. It's probably a good thing because I would be knee-deep in a Japanese whisky phase right now!

My cousin is in Tokyo for the week.  She'll go shopping for me ;-) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have two unopened bottles of Hibiki Harmony, too scared to open them as they are scarce and or over priced! :D 

Also one that's not on Ken's list and is well worth a mention is the Nikka Whisky from the barrel.

I used to overlook it as the bottle is rather simple (Kind of like judging a book by its cover) but trust me, this bottle is small at 500ml and relatively cheap here at $70 a bottle, such a brilliant drop, go grab a bottle or two.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, MIKA27 said:

I still have two unopened bottles of Hibiki Harmony, too scared to open them as they are scarce and or over priced! :D 

Also one that's not on Ken's list and is well worth a mention is the Nikka Whisky from the barrel.

I used to overlook it as the bottle is rather simple (Kind of like judging a book by its cover) but trust me, this bottle is small at 500ml and relatively cheap here at $70 a bottle, such a brilliant drop, go grab a bottle or two.

Go on mate open one you still have one left you won't be disappointed really nice esker and cheaper to replace than my Yamasaki 18 which is nearly gone ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, OZCUBAN said:

Go on mate open one you still have one left you won't be disappointed really nice esker and cheaper to replace than my Yamasaki 18 which is nearly gone ?

I already enjoyed a bottle mate as I had 3 in total, now 2 bottles left.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought 6 bottles of Yamazaki 12 a little over a year ago and am down to three.  I really enjoy the sweeter, full flavored and delicate tastes of Japanese whisky when I'm not in the mood for the robust qualities of Scotch I own

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoy the Nikka Pure Malt and Yamazaki 12.  The price here in Japan is around $20 and $80 and they are high quality whiskies!  I was able to grab one botttle of Yamazaki 18 and Hibiki 21 for a reasonable price and they are the bomb!!  You can't really find a Yoichi 12 here since they discontinued it two years ago...  What a shame!  I do have a bottle Yoichi 15 sitting around now I can't open it because you can sell it for 10x of original price in the aftermarket nowadays.  It only costed me $50 two years ago at the airport now I have seen it as high as $600!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.