In recent years, Japanese Whiskies have won several top prizes at the World Whisky Awards and have consistently scored higher than Scotch Whiskies in blind tastings. Talk about a student surpassing the master!
Japan is the second biggest producer of Single Malt Whisky in the world.
Japanese Single Malts, like Scotch, are double-distilled in pot stills. Grain Whiskies, on the other hand, are distilled in column stills.
Whisky or Whiskey? The spelling differs geographically. In Scotland, Japan, and some other parts of the world, distilleries usually spell it Whisky; in Ireland and the USA, they spell it Whiskey.
The Highball brought Japanese Whisky back to life. Aside from some attention from overseas, Japanese Whisky consumption domestically was very low during the better part of the early 2000s. It wasn’t until 2008, when Suntory launched the Highball campaign featuring their Kakubin Whisky that things kicked off.
It's not uncommon for Japanese Whisky to be aged in mizunara (Japanese oak) casks. Suntory conducted a research on how mizunara oak influences Whisky flavor and found out it adds coconut notes to it.