The Secret Flavors Of Japan

The Secret Flavors Of Japan

The other side of Japanese Whisky


6.8/10
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$45.99
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$41.99
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Dive deeper into the rich world of Nippon Whiskies
 
Two guys named Masataka Taketsuru and Shinjiro Torri took everything they knew about Scotch and established Nikka and Suntory. Seventy years later, these two behemoths are the mainstream of Japanese Whisky. But there’s also a rich world of lesser known amber Spirits in Nippon. If those two are The Beatles, these bad boys are The Sex Pistols. Let’s celebrate the new kids on the block!
 
The Japanese booze landscape is teeming with extravagantly different, under-the-radar, rare and straight up bonkers Spirits: a Sake-like Whisky from ex-Brandy casks made from rice that had koi carp police its weeds; a Scotland-born Spirit from ex-Sherry barrels whose water was filtered through a goddamn volcano; or a ridiculously rare no-age-statement gem from a mythical place. It sounds like we’re making this up, but these are real Spirits and they jubilate the Japanese ingenuity and imagination.
 
Also, they demand your attention. See, the Japanese took a great tune from Scotland, covered it for a while, then invented a whole new genre with crazy melodies, twists and remixes – and, just like that, they created a new hit! They used to be apprentices, the Japanese, but now they’re kicking ass – even with their lesser known expressions. Put on your leather jacket and hang out with the cool kids.

Kanpai!
 
Smartass Corner
 
1) Shorthand for Japanese craft Whisky is “Ji-Whisky”, which appropriately sounds like “gee wizz”, as most of the Whiskies coming from the Land of the Rising Sun are pure poetry.

2) World War II was great for Japanese Whisky, since the armed forces guzzled every drop available. It's still considered the most profitable era.

3) Japanese Whisky has so much in common with Scotch (it was modeled on it, after all), it kept the Scottish spelling without an "e", rather than following the American or Irish tradition.

4) One of the not-so-secret reasons for the unique flavor of the Japanese Whisky is the Mizunara Oak, an ancient tree that's also used for fancy furniture.

5) Japanese laws are quite loose when it comes to Whiskies, and they permit blends of imported and domestic Whisky to be sold as "Japanese Whisky". On the other hand, aged rice and barley Shochu can be legally exported as "Whisky" to the US market - but since the process uses koji fungi to convert starches into sugars, it's illegal to call it Whisky in Japan and EU.

6) In Japan, you can buy travel-sized Whisky bottles from vending machines like a bag of Skittles!
The most popular Whisky drink in Japan is the Highball, a mix of Japanese Whisky and club soda. (Also Winston Churchill's favorite drink, except he drank Red Label.)

7) 20% of calories consumed by humanity come from rice, which is the main ingredient of two of the Spirits in this Tasting Box.

8) Japan is the second biggest producer of single malt Whisky and Japanese Whisky even got better ratings than Scotch in blind tastings. 

9) The Japanese drink more Whisky than the Scots and they produce more than the United States.

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Flavor Spiral™

About The Flavor Spiral

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The Flavor Spiral™ is a quick, clear and visually-appealing way to look at the drink's flavor DNA.

It's tasting notes reinvented. The Flavor Spiral™ is a unique and revolutionary way of describing flavors. It was developed by Flaviar tasting panel, industry experts, and You, our dear Flaviar community member.

Your favourite drinks like never before. It could easily be an art form, but that's a conversation for another day.
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Smartass
Corner
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!

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Ratings & Reviews
Member Reviews and Ratings of The Secret Flavors Of Japan
Bryan
Bryan,
I wasn't a big fan of these whiskies. I am new to scotch and was expecting a similar experience, but it was quite different. I felt they were strong without a lot of flavor. The Fukano reserve was the only one I would consider drinking again.
 
Michael
Michael,
Terrible after taste
 
Louis
Louis,
Great Japanese intro!
 
Calvin
Calvin,
Pretty solid overall, 2 out of the 3 were very good. Vile B was outstanding
 
Tristan
Tristan,
Ohishi was by far the best one in here. The other two were ok. I will definitely buy some of the ohishi if it’s available. Nice and smooth and went down way to easy.
 
Tanya
Tanya,
First time trying Japanese whiskey. I'd spend the money on 2/3 quickly. Delicious, rich, and fun. 1 vial I didn't even want to finish.
 
Jasson
Jasson,
A great taster! Especially if you live somewhere that Japanese pure-malts and blends aren't readily available. Highly recommended.
 
Marcos
Marcos,
2 of the 3 were superb !
 
Brian
Brian,
Selection B was fantastic 9/10! Other 2 were complex and interesting but had some weaknesses.
 
Scott
Scott,
First time trying Japanese whisky.. I have to say I’m impressed,will be buying again
 
Joseph
Joseph,
Vials A and B were some of the best whiskeys I have tried, though I’m newer to whiskey. Vial C was not for me but was still good.
 
William
William,
Great intro for myself into a well curated variety of Japanese whiskey. The sherry cask one was especially tasty, if you like that type of aging.
 
Matt
Matt,
Two out of three ain’t bad. The Ohishi and Fukano are whiskies I would buy. The Kurayoshi is the reason I’m happy for these samplers.
 
Jonathan
Jonathan,
Great flavor, different than the US bourbon/rye I’m used to
 
Sara
Sara,
Delicious and fun.
 
Rick
Rick,
We discovered we are not fans of Japanese Whiskey. Lol.
 
ADAM
ADAM,
Ohishi 7/10, Fukano 5/10, The Kurayoshi 1/10
 
Chase
Chase,
This was a fun introduction to Japanese Whisky. It was my first time trying any Japanese Whisky. I really enjoyed Ohishi and Fukano. They were both smooth and had unique flavors compared to an American Whisky. The sherry finish was very nice on both and left a nice flavor. I thought Kurayoshi was awful and had to down it like a shot. Would prefer rail gin over that whisky.... overall fun box and good value looking at the bottle prices
 
Robert
Robert,
Pretty harsh blends. Not for the amateur pallet, that’s for sure.
 
Daniel
Daniel,
While I did like the Kurayoshi, I felt as though the rest were far too sweet for my taste. I owe this to the sherry flavor.
 
Ryan
Ryan,
One tasted too young, another too sweet. Ohishi was okay, but lost points for price.
 
Nicholas
Nicholas,
Very good mixtures!
 
Patrick
Patrick,
One of them was very spicy with a strong aftertaste, one was acceptable, and one was actually nice.
 
Michael
Michael,
Ohishi and Fukano took 1st and second for me. Definitely going to pick up a bottle of Ohishi for my cabinet!
 
Bernie
Bernie,
I’ve had a number of Japanese whiskies and this is a good selection.
 
Rusty
Rusty,
Great selection in this sampler.
 
Roger
Roger,
They were decent. Strong after taste
 
Dan
Dan,
Good introduction for me as I’m new to Japanese whisky. They all had unique qualities, different than anything I’ve tried before. Shochu has been my go to for highballs but I’m seeing a place for Japanese whisky in my future.
 
Carlos
Carlos,
I really enjoyed this box. Having lived in Japan for a few years, I became a fan of Suntory whiskey highballs. I couldn’t resist giving this box a try. Fukano was the standout in my opinion. I’m looking forward to the next box!
 
Matthew
Matthew,
Fukano was my favorite would consider getting a bottle. The sherry was a close second.
 
Mason
Mason,
I apparently do not like sherry aged whisky - glad I tried them though! And that Kurayoshi is quite good - I'd rank that a 7 out of 10 on its own. The Ohishi was terrible - almost undrinkable 1 out of 10. The Fukano was good, but I just don't like the sherry flavor addition - 4-5 out of 10 for my tastes.
 
Ray
Ray,
Three excellent samples. One of my favorite sample boxes so far. I really enjoyed each one of them.
 
Joshua
Joshua,
The sherry......oh the sherry. Loved it
 
Ethan
Ethan,
Box seal was broken and my stone coaster was broken as well.
 
Gene
Gene,
ohishi ....the best of the three. The other two not so much. But it was worth exploring
 
Thomas
Thomas,
This was a delightful journey to Japan. Who said you couldn’t travel during quarantine.
 
Daniel
Daniel,
Decent box! Fukano was amazing! Other 2 we're decent, but I wouldn't order a full bottle. That Fukano though..... I want more!
 
Christian
Christian,
Very nice. I think I would only buy one of the bottles that tasted like whiskey and sake. Good spirits from the land of the sun.
 
David
David,
Amazing trio.
 
Michael
Michael,
Really enjoyed the Ohishi, was very smooth and subtle with a smokey taste to ti. The rest weren't too good. Really disliked the Kurayoshi.
 
Michal
Michal,
This was not good. Tasted like gasoline smelled. Feel like I wasted my free box.
 
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