Top 5 Japanese Whiskeys
Did you know that all scotch is whiskey, but not all whiskey is scotch! If your whiskey was made outside of Scotland then it is not called scotch! Now for other Whiskey lovers will be surprised that your favourite drink is no longer limited to Scotland’s offerings. In fact, Japan has surpassed the ranking in 2014 and continues to hold their position as one of the major distributor of quality and fine whiskey!
The first distillery in Japan was opened in Yamazaki, a suburb of Kyoto, during 1924. It was built by Shinjiro Torii and he enlisted the help of Masataka Taketsuru who brought his own knowledge of whiskey distilling from Scotland. However, in 1934, he left the company to start his own whiskey business venture named Dainipponkaju—which was later renamed to Nikka. These two became the leading competitors in Japanese whiskey distribution.
It came as a great shock to whiskey fans when Suntory’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 was named as the best whiskey in the world according to the 2015 edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. What’s even more surprising was, Scotland was not even in the top 5. Another interesting detail to note is that Nikka’s Yoichi was named as the Best of the Best in an International tasting wine by Whisky Magazine. In 2003, Suntory’s Hibiki also won the gold medal in the International Spirits Challenge. The awards have surely helped Japanese whiskey to gain popularity not just in Japan, but on a global scale as well. Here are 5 Japanese whiskey drinks ranked in no particular order that you should try:
Suntory Yamazaki – 12 year old
Suntory’s famous Japanese single-malt is a fruity concoction with hints of zest and honey. The taste is smooth and citrus with a hint of vanilla oak. The multi-layered taste is praised by whiskey enthusiasts not just in Japan but in thirty-five countries all over the world as well.
Nikka Yoichi – 15 year old
It seems like an understatement at first but whiskey drinkers will enjoy the light splash of sherry sweetness and fruity zest. It has a mild maple scent and a soft nutty flavor. The smooth and silky palate will capture your snobbish tastes.
It is a blend of the single malt of whiskies from Miyagikyo and Nikka’s Yoichi. It is the best of both worlds as Yoichi is known for its smokey and rich flavors while Miyagikyo is the opposite with its lighter, fruitier and softer palate.
Suntory Hakushu Single Malt Whiskey
This drink is a no-fuss whiskey characterized by its unique green packaging which is an ode to its “herbaceous” qualities. Lightly-peated and heavily-peated malts were used to come up with this multifaceted and pleasant whiskey.
There is no greater reward to you after a long work week more than a glass of fine whiskey. Fans of the drink would take pride in the distinct strong and sophisticated taste that is only satisfied by whiskey. Whiskey lovers in Australia can now rejoice. Little Red Pocket is a well-kept secret in Melbourne, Australia. It has been awarded as one of Top 100 World’s Best Bars. During the weekdays, it’s a lounge that serves Japanese tapas, sakes and other alcoholic selections such as Japanese whiskey. On the weekends, it transforms into a night playground with DJs, live music, and sake shots. Great news for whiskey lovers in Australia, because 3 out of the 5 Japanese whiskeys mentioned above are available in Little Red Pocket. Yamazaki, Yoichi and Hibiki will awaken your senses and introduce you to a whole new world of whiskey drinking.