Whisky's Big In Japan Vol.2

Whisky's Big In Japan Vol.2

Delightful Scottish-style Whiskies


8.3/10
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To join this party, you’ll need to get on over to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Yep, Japan is doing the Whisky thing and they’re doing it big. (Some might even say, "yuge.")

See, the Japanese can’t seem to get enough of the stuff — right along with the rest of us. They’ve discovered the secret to making some spectacular sauce and the world’s like "hold my Beer… and pass me that Whisky."

Time to get this party started

The Japanese Whisky train is out of the station and there’s no stopping it.

The world’s fallen in love with the meticulous way the Japanese are distilling their grains, and with good reason — they’ve taken the Scottish playbook on crafting great Whisky and managed to perfect it.

We know, we know. Blasphemous. But hear us out.

The Japanese have taken Whisky distilling to another level. For one, they produce a clear wort — that’s the liquid drawn off of the mash — which means fewer lipids and therefore less of a nutty taste. They also finish their Whiskies in Japanese Oak casks, which give it a more delicate, floral flavor. All of this (along with a few other tricks they have up their sleeve) results in a dram that’s more balanced, softer, aromatic and fragrant than a typical Scotch.

But the methods by which they distill it are essentially the same as the Scots. So they’re paying their respects to the greats while making it their own. Can’t hate on that.

Now, onto the box. Inside, we’ve packed three stellar samples of Japanese Whiskies that artfully pay homage to Scotch rules and legacy. The spicy Akashi Single Malt Whisky with toffee notes, the slightly sweet and well-rounded Kujira Ryukyu Whisky, and the delicate Ichiro's Malt & Grain. Trust us, they won’t disappoint.

While we can’t predict what the future holds for Japanese Whisky, we’d put our money on a bright one.

Kanpai!

Smartass Corner:

1) It was the humble Highball that single-handedly revived Japanese Whisky in Japan. Aside from some attention overseas, Japanese Whisky on the domestic front was very low in the early 2000s. It wasn’t until 2008, when Suntory launched the Highball campaign featuring their Kakubin Whisky with popular Japanese actresses that things really kicked into high gear.

2) While WWII was a horrible time for the world as a whole, Japanese Whisky sales boomed during that time. Sales reports from Suntory and Nikka show a huge boost in domestic consumption during the war, as both companies supplied Whisky directly to the army and Japanese forces.

3) In "Lost in Translation," Bill Murray’s poison of choice was the Suntory Hibiki 17 Year Old — and if everyone knows one thing it’s this: in Bill Murray we trust.

4) The founders of Suntory and Nikka were tight: in fact, Suntory’s founder, Shinjiro Torii, hired Masataka Taketsuru to run the Yamazaki distillery. Taketsuru stayed there for 10 years before moving on and creating Nikka in 1934.

5) Numbers don’t lie: The Japanese drink way more Whisky than the Scots and they produce more than the United States.

6) Mizuwari means "mixed with water" and is a popular way of drinking Spirits in Japan. Typically, about two parts of cold water are mixed with one part of the Spirit and some ice.

7) Caveat emptor: Japanese Whisky has no strict rules surrounding its production, which has resulted in companies importing Whisky from Scotland and maturing it briefly in Japan before slapping a label on it that claims it’s Japanese Whisky. Consulting with Inspector Google before you make a purchase can pay off in spades (but rest assured, all of Japanese Whisky we sell here at Flaviar is legit!).

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The two biggest Whisky producers in Japan are Nikka and Suntory, major rivals.

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Ratings & Reviews
Member Reviews and Ratings of Whisky's Big In Japan Vol.2
Jeff
Jeff,
Sample A tasted like a bowl full of stale cigarettes. Was really gross. Only poured half the sample into my glass very glad of this. Sample B was wonderful. I really like this sample and would think about getting a bottle of it. Don't know if I would pay the 70.something they want here but at a regular store price maybe. Sample C was very harsh. Tongue feel was not very pleasant, the stale cigarette taste was there but not as bad as Sample A and it burned on the way down. Not a pleasant bourbon or whiskey burn but as someone else put it like rubbing alcohol. Not that impressed with these samples.
 
Tim
Tim,
Great tasting with my son-in-law. He had gotten an Irish whiskey tasting and we did them together.
 
Frank
Frank,
Great taste and very smooth
 
benjamin
benjamin,
Worst I've ever had. Seriously, tasted like raw rice and not distilled. I'd question the judgement of anyone that actually paid for this bottle, let alone a full note. The flavor was raw, just like straight rubbing alcohol. Texture and color was light. Aroma pretty much non-existent. Horrible. If you are looking for something to order and you've been through the catalog, go for it. Outside of that, yeah, no.
 
David
David,
Interesting and fun but nothing I’d purchase.
 
Alexis
Alexis,
Loved this Sampler! All of the Wiskeys where so different and SO GOOD in different ways too. I would love to get a bottle now to really enjoy more of these!
 
Nelson
Nelson,
This was a great sampler. I enjoy all three. My favorite was Akashi, but certainly the other 2 were fantastic as well. I want to buy a bottle of each for my collection.
 
Josh
Josh,
Loved this selection! They all were very smooth and right down my flavor profile alley.
 
Brandon
Brandon,
Good sampler. The whiskeys are all really different, and I found that I had strong opinions about all of them. Some of the whiskeys are better with a little water (in my opinion the Ichiro’s opens up a bit better with water). Next time I want to purchase a bottle, I’ll have a much better idea of what I want ... I also feel like this was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s out there right now ... Japan is definitely the dark horse of whiskey distilling!
 
Matthew
Matthew,
This was a really good selection, probably the best sampler I’ve had here
 
Antti
Antti,
An outstanding Selection of Japanese Whisky's!
 
Jon
Jon,
The Fukano is the star here—a beautiful whisky.
 
xiaohai
xiaohai,
Superb selection
 
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