Here are some other highly rated products to enjoy with your next beverage: Copyright ©2020 Rave Reviews, All Rights Reserved. In 2018, there were reports that Suntory will be temporarily discontinuing Hakushu 12 in certain markets, but limited quantities are still available here in the U.S. Average price: $85. Japanese whisky is much older than people often realise, with the first malt distillery producing spirit in 1923. This is in part because of the so-called “Yamazaki Crisis,” which refers to the shortage that has hit the market due to lower production levels that began in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, when the Japanese economy began to cool. There’s also a young blend available called White Oak, but this single malt is the better bottle to check out if you come across it. In fact, blending is considered to be the most important step in the production of Japanese whisky. The slightly peated whisky delicately balances… More info, A fantastic 12 year old blended Japanese whisky from Nikka presented in a bottle that takes its design from the neckline of a kimono. Coffey Grain is made from a mash bill that is mostly corn and distilled in a column still (as opposed to a pot still), giving it an almost bourbon-like characteristic. Though not overwhelming, it is a very nice touch to round out this delicate whisky. A bottle of good Japanese whisky (they spell it without the “e”) is incredibly difficult to get your hands on these days, and stupid expensive if you do. Blue Apron Vet Matt Wadiak Is Raising A Better Bird. The sourced whisky is all aged between three and 20 years, and then matured at the distillery for another two before blending. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The two big stumbling blocks for anyone trying to get into Japanese whisky are the price tag and availability. Because the mash bill is mostly corn (95%), this whisky is more like a bourbon than a traditional Scotch—although it’s not aged in white oak barrels. Aroma: What are the scents that greet your nose when you first take a whiff of a beautiful whisky? But here’s the thing—the Japanese highball is not just your average whisky and soda. This is a good, if not great, Japanese malt whisky. This severe shortage explains why prices for Japanese whisky are currently through the roof. Aroma: The smell of a good whisky can be almost as enjoyable as the taste—almost. Blending is a key component of the craft of making Japanese whisky. Order arrives within 3-5 business days. List price: $75. The aroma includes lemon peel, grape, fresh cut grass, and citrus. Some brands are upfront about this practice, while others are not as transparent. The finish is clean and smooth, with chocolate and honey at the end to complement the heat. But you’ll have to pay around $500, provided you can even locate a bottle, so the 12 is a much more reasonable expression to sample. The price tag is a bit too high on this product, but if you have the chance to try it out, you shouldn’t turn it down. The Yoichi version is made up of whisky aged in American oak and sherry casks, while the Miyagikyo (the more heavily peated of the two) was aged in new American oak, ex-bourbon, and sherry casks, with the sherry providing the dominant flavor, according to the brand. Our second whisky is the Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky, named after the continuous still that’s used in making this grain-based whisky. Packaging and history: What is the story behind the spirit, and what kind of craftsmanship has gone into creating the bottle. Now drink! Don’t give up on the Japanese whisky hunt, because with enough cash and persistence, you can still find age statement bottles, along with plenty of newer, more readily available blends. In 2001, the Yamazaki Single Malt arrived in America. Another Japanese whisky that no longer has an age statement, this Nikka single malt comes from its namesake distillery, with a bold but not overpowering level of peat and pleasant dried fruit and spice notes. The whisky is named after… More info, Alas, this whisky isn't really from the planet Mars, but from the Mars Shinshu distillery, which is just as exciting! List price: $250. Saveur may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. It is meant to be an easy-drinking whisky—as the name implies—that you can enjoy on its own, in a highball, or hell, even with some Coke, if that’s your thing. There is also a grainy smell, with some floral hints as well. The Best Japanese Beers to Try in the U.S. A bit of smoke from the use of peated barley drifts through this whisky, along with crisp apple and pear notes. Try this one back-to-back with 2018’s excellent Nikka From the Barrel blend to see which one you like better. Price: Well, they are all expensive—but some more so than others! Instead, try Harmony, a NAS blend of malt and grain whisky from Suntory’s three distilleries aged in several different cask types. The 1990s downturn in consumption and production created a new crisis—the so-called Yamazaki Crisis. This Nikka blend comes in a smaller-than-average bottle (500 ml), but the flavor and quality punch well above its weight. A splash of water brings out the citrus even more, and the mouth feel is an elegant, oily coating. Produced at the Hakushu distillery, this whisky includes spirits aged in American oak and ex-sherry Spanish oak, and includes non-peated and peated whisky, though the latter is muted in the final product. The color is a light amber, and the packaging and bottle are typical of Japanese producers—elegant, classic, and understated. According to a rep for the distillery, the rainy oceanside climate encourages quick maturation with a large angel’s share (evaporation of the whisky as it ages), and brings some salinity into the palate to offset the soft peat notes. The 18 Year Old single malt is probably the best whisky in the Hakushu range, with fresh notes of fruit and malt, along with just a hint of smoke and dried cherry. List price: $80. Enjoy neat, over ice or in a classic highball. Valid for shipping anywhere within Washington only. Excludes Gift Cards. Taste and finish: What is the flavor palate, and how does the spirit finish? Whiskey Granite Stones Luxury Gift Set of 8, “The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky”. The spirit is then aged for an undisclosed length of time in sherry casks, making this a rich and fruity dram that stands up with the best of Japanese whisky. That research led us to develop the following list of the very best Japanese whiskies. In 1899, Torii established Kotobukiya—which later became Suntory. The name comes from where the tunnel is located, in the town of… More info, A fabulous Japanese blended whisky from Nikka, Tailored brings together a core of malted barley from the Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries, along with Coffey still grain whisky! Obviously, with limited availability for a while, procuring a bottle of this spirit today may be out of reach for many. No, they have been perfecting this drink for the past 100 years, and you better believe that the attention to detail and craft for which the Japanese are known also played a role in fashioning their favorite whisky concoction. This is a good example of how a brand can source whisky from around the world and be transparent about it. Coffey Grain (produced by Nikka, another large Japanese whisky company) is named after Aeneas Coffey, the Irishman who patented a super-efficient column still in 1830. Japanese whisky was generally available in Asia and Europe until the late 1980s. All rights reserved. They source whisky from Scotland and Canada, and then age it in a railway tunnel before… More info, A delicate Japanese blended whisky, Enso translates from Japanese to 'circle' or 'cycle'. Packaged in a beautiful bottle, the color of the spirit is a gorgeous amber. Determining the best Japanese whisky for yourself is a very personal choice.