Learn More About Japanese Whisky
Japanese whisky is closely linked to Scotch whisky over any other kind. With our wide range of Yamazaki, Hibiki, Nikka, Suntory, Hakusuhu and other distilleries, we’re sure you’ll find something to enjoy.
The Japanese have made a conscious effort to produce whisky similarly to that of the Scotch whisky. There are two main types of whisky that is produced in Japan – single malt and more commonly blended. The demand for blended whisky has been so high and this is seen as the key factor that drives the diversity of Scotch malt distilleries.
However unlike Scotch whiskies, generally brands own the distilleries. In turn they reluctantly trade with their competitors meaning blended whiskies only contain malt whisky produced by companies who own both the distillery and the brand. Well-known brands of Japanese whisky are Suntory and Nikka.
Fact: Some Japanese single malts have scored higher than Scotch single malt in blind tastings carried out by Whisky Magazine.
Four Roses Super Premium
Four Rosess history is inextricably tied to Japan. To survive American whiskeys down years, the company shifted its gaze to more fruitful Asian and European markets as proof, its straight bourbon didnt return to the U.S. until 2002.
Vestiges of its overseas empire can be found on the back shelves of dusty liquor stores across Asia, but the companys Super Premium bottling is its most readily available product there. Sometimes called Four Roses Platinum, its in almost every liquor and grocery store in Japan for the equivalent of $50 USD. Think of it as a fruitier, slightly more-mature version of Four Roses Small Batch.
What’s The Difference Between Whiskey And Japanese Whisky
Japanese whisky is a style of international whisky that happens to be made in Japan. Yamazaki, the first commercial Japanese whisky distillery, was founded in 1924 and used local grains and European-inspired methods to make their spirit. Suntory now owns it. Currently, there are eight whisky distilleries in Japan. There’s really no such thing as Japanese Scotch because Scotch can only come from Scotland. But the best Japanese whisky is most similar to Scotch because it’s made from malted barley that’s distilled in one location.
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What Is Japanese Alcohol
Japan’s drinking traditions date back to the third century, and over that time, they have developed a range of fermented and distilled spirits. The most popular types of alcohol in Japan are beer, Japanese whisky, shochu, sake, and plum wine. Drinking parties, where people are encouraged to empty their cups are an important aspect of Japan’s social and business culture. Did you know the Japanese toast gan bei means “bottoms up”?
Shop Japanese Whisky Online In Hong Kong Conveniently At The Best Prices With Home Delivery
Browse through our large collection of the finest Japanese Whiskies including Hakushu, Hibiki, Nikka & Yamazaki available in Hong Kong. Buy online and get it delivered to your doorstep.
All About Japanese Whiskies
Japanese whiskies have had the world enamored for quite some time. They are a refined liquid luxury to possess not just in Japan but globally as well. Large Japanese producersnamely Suntory and Nikkahave the luxury of producing dozens of styles of whiskies under a single roof.
A Japanese whisky is a culmination of an artistic endeavor undertaken to capture the Japanese culture in a refined liquor. Brewing a Japanese whisky is a detailed and precise process requiring the right skills & right tools to create a perfect end result.
A single sip of the ethereal Japanese whisky will transport your soul to distillery with a lush garden, replete with beautiful red maple trees, a trickling waterfall and stream, and signature Shinto shrines.
Buying Japanese whisky online in Hong Kong was never easier. Check out our wide collection of superlative Japanese whiskies. Hakushu, Hibiki, Yamazaki, White Oak Akashu, Nikka, The Chita these are some of our prized possessions of Japanese whiskies available for delivery in Hong Kong.Just let us know your choice & we will make sure you get to relish them within 24 hours.
There is more!
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Where To Buy Sake Shochu And Japanese Whisky During Lockdown
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that liquor stores fell into the essential business category, the sound you heard was the collective sigh of New Yorkers who were relieved that they wouldnt face the lockdown without any liquid courage.
If youre looking to replenish your stock for your next virtual kanpai at a Zoom Happy Hour, here is a list of notable liquor stores that have plenty of sake, shochu, and Japanese whisky.
Please do not take the subway to these stores just to pick up an order. Visit them if you live in walking distance otherwise, order from them instead. Stay safe and save the subways for the essential workers.
NYCs first shop specializing in premium sake
Hours: Daily from noon until 6:00 p.m.
Address: 324 E. 9th Street, New York, NY 10003
Brooklyns go-to shop for Japanese spirits and sake
Located in Japan Village at Industry CityAddress: 267 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Same-day delivery is available on Mercato
Iwai Tradition Wine Cask Finish
The Mars Shinshu distillery is located in the Japanese Southern Alps, the same general area as Hakushu . The Iwai brand from Mars is mostly made up of affordable blends of malt and grain whisky aged in ex-bourbon barrels, although other types of caskslike sherry, wine, and sakura are used in special release blends as well. The most recent of those was the 2021 limited-edition Wine Cask Finish. For this whisky, the blend that makes up Iwai Tradition was put into red wine casks from the distillerys sister winery, Chateau Mars in the Yamanashi prefecture, for a secondary maturation period of about a year. Tasting notes include raisin, pear, honey, apricot, and sweet vanilla.
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These Essential Bottles Are Worth Seeking Out
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
LIQUOR / Chloe Jeong
Best Rice Whisky:Kikori at Drizly
This rice whisky is aged in American oak, French Limousin oak, and sherry casks for a minimum of three years.
Best 18 Year Old:Yamazaki 18 at Drizly
Its aged for 18 years in a combination of American, Spanish and MIzunara oak, giving the whisky a wide range of flavor notes.
Japanese whisky has become incredibly popular over the past few years. Bottles have become increasingly rare, and expensive, as distilleries have claimed to struggle to meet the demand due to the categorys rapid growth. Brands have stepped in to fill the void by offering new blends and NAS whiskies, and many of these are great cocktail components. If you are hunting down bottles, be sure to do your research as some brands source a blend of whiskies made in other countries, bottle it in Japan, and call it Japanese whisky. But theres a reason why its become so popular – there are some truly incredible drams to be drunk. Here are ten of the best bottles out there, with help from a few experts.
Whiskey Hunting: 6 Places To Buy Japanese Whiskey In Osaka
Whiskey, or the water of life is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages worldwide. There are many types and classes of whiskey across the globe, but a new type of whiskey is becoming increasingly popular: Japanese Whiskey. Whiskey is commonly distilled from fermented grain mash and typically aged in wooden casks of oak. Japanese whiskey is the attempt of recreating Scotch whiskey and the first distillery to open was the Yamazaki distillery.
Between 2007 and 2014 Suntory and Nikka became world known for winning international awards for their homeland whiskies, taking the world by storm. Now, people travel to Japan just to find rare, aged bottles of whiskey. If you want to buy Japanese whiskey, here are 6 Places to Buy Japanese Whiskey in the Osaka area. Let the hunt begin!
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In the brewerys gift shop you can find bottles of whiskey, drinking glasses, snacks that pair perfectly with whiskey, and more. The highlight of the shop is the 300ml Single Malt Whiskey bottle that is exclusively sold in the gift shop. Dont forget to check out the tasting counter down the stairs from the gift shop. You can purchase small taste-testers of Yamazaki whiskey that you may never be able to afford or find normally, such as the Yamazaki 18 , a 25-year-old whiskey, or the Hibiki 30-year-old whiskey.
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In The Best Scotch Tradition
With respect to both the ingredients and production methods, Japanese whisky is very similar to traditional Scotch whisky. And no wonder, because Masataka Taketsuru, the pioneer of Japanese whisky, learned his craft locally in the early 20th century at various Scottish whisky distilleries. He returned to Japan in 1920 and was contracted by Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Japan’s first whisky distillery. This distillery was where Suntory started, a company that not only produces excellent Japanese whisky, but also world famous American whiskeys such as Jim Beam or Maker’s Mark.
Later, Taketsuru established The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company, which operates the two Japanese whiskey distilleries in the Hokkaid region and in Northern Honshu. There are now quite a few renowned whisky distilleries in Japan and they are barely keeping up with the high demand for their quality products. This is also a reason why the Japanese distilleries are starting to purchase the traditional Scottish businesses.
Japanese Blended Whisky 21 Year Old Batch 5
That Boutique-y Whisky Company has got another brilliant batch of its Japanese Blended Whisky #1 ready! The fifth batch is an extraordinary 21 year old expression, packing oodles of red fruit, gingerbread and salted butter notes, alongside wafts of fresh florals and nutty oak. Master of Malt
Nose: Plenty of sherried funk at first, with hazelnut, dark chocolate, ripe blackcurrants, soft peaches and Christmas pudding. Lean gamey savouriness and a touch of spent firework keeps things interesting. A powerful hit of warm out of the oven gingerbread is joined in the backdrop by sweet tobacco, waxy leather and browning apples.
Palate: A ripe and refined mix of red and black fruits initially, followed by cherry cola, dried orange peel and creamy fudge. Nutty oak, exotic honey and bittersweet herbs develop, alongside winter spice and cherry blossom.
Finish: Dried mint and thyme linger among salty butter and resinous sherry notes.
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Chichibu Us Edition 2020 Peated
Chichibu, founded in 2008, was built upon the remains of the old Hanyu distillery about an hour outside of Tokyo. It is small compared to others in Japan, but the whisky makes a big statement. This US Edition is a five-year-old single malt about which the distillery provides some key information. The peat level is 30 parts per million, putting it around the level of Islay scotches like Caol Ila and Lagavulin. Its not chill filtered, and no caramel color is added. It was matured in bourbon, wine, and Chibidaru casks . Just over 2,000 bottles were produced, so this is another unicornlet us know if you score a bottle.
Best World Blend: Mars Maltage Cosmo
Courtesy of Whiskey Exchange
Region: Japan | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Orange, chocolate, dried fruit
The bottle from the Mars Shinshu distillery is a blend of whisky distilled in Japan and sourced from Scotland. Catherine Simmerman of Pepe Le Moko in Portland, Oregon is a fan, saying Mars Maltage Cosmo tastes like a sherry casked scotch with hints of vanilla and plum. Thats likely due to the inclusion of whisky that was aged in sherry butts in the blend, along with liquid aged in ex-bourbon barrels. Try this one over a few ice cubes or in a cocktail like an Old Fashioned.
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Best Age Statement Blend: Hibiki 17 Year Old
Region: Japan | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Toffee, cherry, peach
In Japanese whisky, the art of blending is very important. A testament to this is Suntorys superb Hibiki range. There are two NAS blends available, but the 17-year-old is as good as any single malt out there. This is a blend of grain and malt whiskies that are aged for nearly two decades, with a silky smooth mouthfeel and a buttery, fruit-laden palate. You could use this for a cocktail, but it’s best to sip it neat.
Region: Japan | ABV: 45% | Tasting Notes: Almond, smoke, vanilla
While few Japanese whiskies come close to the levels of Islay scotch in terms of peat, there are some decidedly smoky expressions available. Nikkas Yoichi Single Malt is one of the best. This NAS whisky has an ample dose of smoke, but its balanced out by tropical fruit and caramel flavors on the palate. Sip this neat, or mix with soda and ice for an intensely flavored Highball.
Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
Nikka, the other big player in the Japanese whisky scene, released this blended whisky in the fall of 2020. Theres no grain whisky here instead its a blend of malt whisky from Nikkas two distilleries, Yoichi and Miyagikyo. The main change is the increased influence of the whisky from Yoichi, bringing a bit more smoke to the palate due to that distillerys use of peated malt. The sherry cask influence and fruity notes from Miyagikyo are still present as well, with the intention of creating a more balanced and flavorful pure malt, as Nikka terms it. According to the brand, this all makes Pure Malt a refined version of the whisky named after Nikkas founder, Masataka Taketsuru, and its new label design is meant to honor him.
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Union Square Wines And Spirits
Large selection of sake with a section devoted to sake from Fukushima Prefecture
Hours: Daily from noon until 8:00 p.m.
Address: 140 4th Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Upscale shop with a walk-in sake fridge
Open, but operating on reduced hours:Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.Sunday from noon until 8:00 p.m.
Free delivery within a 10-block neighborhood range amount of delivery fee depends on location
Address: 1020 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Small number of sake, impressive selection of Japanese whisky
Open for pickup and delivery only online, through their app, or by phoneHours: Noon until 8:00 p.m.
Address: 5 W. 19th Street, New York, NY 10011
Almost 200 artisanal sakes from around the world, stored in temperature-controlled units
Closed, but taking orders by phone and online
Shipping Fee: $25 Delivery day may be 10 days from the day you place your order online.
Bourbon Whiskeys You Can Only Find Overseas
Some of Americas best bourbon makers reserve some of their oldest stock for Japan.
Before its native whisky became the style du jour across the globe, Japans greatest contribution to whiskey culture was more fundamental. In the 1970s and 1980s, American whiskey was down for the count, beaten out by vodka, rum and gin. There was just no thirst for premium bourbons except in Japan.
Raised on lofty age statement scotch whisky, Japanese drinkers wanted the old American bourbon America didnt. The result was a flood of new bourbons that only ever saw the light of day in Japan. And despite the return of bourbons popularity in the land of its provenance, Japan continues to receive exclusive gems from some of Americas most notable producers. From Four Roses to Wild Turkey, here are the bourbons to hunt down on your next trip overseas.
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Enjoy Excellence: Purchase Japanese Whisky Online At Heinemann
Friends of Japanese whisky and those striving to become one enjoy their single malt or blend neat and without ice, so as to savour the true flavour of this spirit on its many levels. In Japan, whisky is also an ingredient in the popular classic highball and people enjoy a glass for dinner or drink it in the winter with hot water – similar to the Grog enjoyed in Northern Germany. Be inspired by the quality and wide range of Japanese whiskies: Order your whisky online from the Heinemann shop up to 180 days prior to your flight departure date and have your order delivered either conveniently to your home or to the airport directly, ready for pick-up.
Best For Highball: Suntory Toki
Region: Japan | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Citrus, smoke, apple
“I really enjoy Suntory Toki Whisky,” says Darnell Holguin, co-founder of The Silver Sun Group and beverage partner at New York’s Las’ Lap. “Toki, which means time in Japanese, has a blend of some of the best that Suntory makes. It has notes of pink grapefruit, almonds and a light vanilla finish. Just mix some with sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon, and you’ll have yourself a yummy Highball.”
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Where Does Japanese Liquor Come From
Most Japanese liquor, from sake and shochu to whisky and beer, is made right on the island of Japan. The big three beer brewersKirin, Asahi, and Sapporomake plenty of beer for the domestic market and export as well. Regional breweries make most sake, a fermented rice beverage that is called nihonshu in Japan. Distilleries around Japan make the spirit shochu with sweet potato, barley, buckwheat, or other starchy foods. Japanese whisky has been made since the 1870s, and it expanded in 1924 when the Yamazaki distillery opened.