World map of Japanese Whisky distilleries

The Japanese started distilling Whisky around 1870. Production began when the first distillery, Yamazaki was opened by Shinjiro Torii in 1923. The Style of Japanese Whisky is eerily similar to Scotch Whisky. Masataka Taketsuru is largely credited for bringing his knowledge of Scottish Whisky distilling to Japan, after studying the art in Scotland. Taketsuru played a major role in the opening of Yamazaki.

There are 8 Active Distilleries in Japan, most of which produce blended and single malt whiskies. Japanese single malt Whiskies are produced in the same manner as other single malts, distilled from yeast, water and malted barley at a single distillery. The Whiskey then matures in oak casks for over three years. Due to climate conditions, Whisky in Japan matures at a faster rate than in Scotland, and similar to the US, the wood the spirit is aged in imparts a lot more flavor into the final product.

Japanese Whisky is now a world class Spirit category, with some of the best Whiskies on the market. With Japanese Whisky now accounting for 5% of all worldwide, Whisky making has become a Japanese art form. Want to learn more about Japanese Whisky making? Just click on our map and take a journey through the heart and soul of Japanese Whisky-land.