Frequently Asked Questions About Yamazaki Whisky
How much is a bottle of Yamazaki whiskey?
A 750ml bottle of Yamazaki whisky starts at around $149.99 for Yamazaki 12 Year Old Whisky on websites like Drizly. Older bottles, like the 18 and 25 year, are much more expensive.
Why is Yamazaki so expensive?
Japanese whisky is traditionally produced in small batches, which means demand often beats supply. The Yamazaki is renowned for being one of the worlds top whiskies, which encourages a higher price.
How much does Yamazaki 18 cost in Japan?
Yamazaki 18 Year Single Malt is one of the worlds most sought-after whiskies and can rarely be found for under $800. Expect to pay around $1000 per bottle in Japan.
What is a good price for Yamazaki 12?
Yamazaki 12 Year Old Whisky can be bought online on websites like Drizly for $149.99. If you buy in person or especially in Japan, prices may be slightly lower.
A Spirit Thats Definitely Worthy Of Its Attention
There are some spirits that become investment pieces thanks to how seriously delicious they are. And there are other whiskies that spend their lives being admired thanks to how difficult they are to secure. Yamazaki whisky manages to be both at the same time.
Its traditional in Japan to produce small batch whisky, which means demand almost always exceeds supply.
Throw into the mix the fact that Yamazaki Single Malt scored a 97.5 out of 100 in the Whisky Bible back in 2014, and was named as the best in the world, and youll start to understand why securing a bottle of this whisky or even sampling it if someone has a bottle theyre prepared to open is such a big deal.
Owned by the Suntory brand and based in a quiet Kyoto suburb, Yamazaki is widely regarded as the birthplace of Japanese whisky.
A brilliant all-rounder and a perfect interpretation of what Japanese whisky should smell and taste like, Yamazaki is primarily made up of whisky aged in American oak and ex-bourbon casks, with trace amounts of whisky coming from Japanese Mizunara casks.
Its distillation process boasts some of the purest water found in all of Japan which, when paired with the brands expertise, results in one truly subtle yet brilliant bottle.
The Yamazaki distillery produces over 60 distinct single malt whiskies, utilising its seriously soft water and misty climate to produce some of the best spirits in the world.
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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Drinking Yamazaki Whisky At The Distillery And Museum
If you visit Kyoto or Osaka, the Yamazaki Distillery is a required stop.
Admission to the Yamazaki whisky museum and tasting room is free.
You can taste many different Suntory whiskies like Hakushu, Hibiki, and cask samples that are used for blending some of these famous brands. The prices are low. Premium Suntory whiskies like Hakushu 25, Hibiki 30, and Yamazaki 25 are available for around $30 each. Thats an amazing deal!
The Yamazaki whisky library has many bottles that will make you drool. If you want to do the Yamazaki distillery tour, youll need to plan well in advance. Spots are very hard to get.
Heres the Suntory post where you can *. Tours are available on this link, as well. Again, theyre very hard to get.
While in the town of Yamazaki, please check out the 100 famous water: Rikyu no Mizu . Its a twenty-minute stroll from the distillery. The water tastes amazing and the shrine is a truly special place.
*The Yamazaki Distillery is temporarily closed to the public during the Covid pandemic.
Online And Local Retail Shops
Bottles of Yamazaki 18 can be found for under $800 on occasion. There are many online merchants and shop owners that are charging a kings ransom, however. It pays to be patient and to shop around. Regular liquor store pricing can be all over the place.
Thats no different in Japan, where demand is also sky-high. Still, you can expect to save 10%-25% if you buy this whisky in Japan.
Costco is a good place to look for Yamazaki 18. They occasionally have bottles and at reasonable prices. Many states outlaw membership requirements for alcohol purchases, which means you can shop at Costco for Yamazaki whiskey in those states.
Total Wine, Binnys, and Bevmo are other large retailers where Yamazaki 18 Year can be found.
If your quest for reasonably priced Yamazaki 18 is challenging, consider Yamazaki 12 instead. Its equally famous, but pricing is more reasonable.
Love Yamazaki whisky? Learn about Yamazaki 12 with our companion post.
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Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve Single Malt Japanese Whisky
Single Malt Whisky from Suntory Yamazaki Distillery, it is rich, easy-to-drink whisky. Round-bodied, profound and mature taste. A combination of Aged Yamazaki sherry cask and aged mizunara cask malt whiskies. The innovative use of Suntory’s original wine cask finished malt whiskies provides smoothness and fruity sweetness.
- Product Name: The Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve Single Malt Japanese Whisky
- Product Type: Liquor
- Weight of the product in grams: 1300 Grams
- Ingredients and composition: Alcohol by volume: 43%
- Country of Origin: Japan
- Product Shelf Life: Not Applicable to this product
- Package content: 1 Bottle of The Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve Single Malt Japanese Whisky
Alcohol by volume: 43% v/v.
Shop Online Retailers Of Yamazaki 18
We saved our top recommendation for last. Online retailers can be a great option for Yamazaki 18 shopping. As usual, do your homework. This whisky has a large range of price tags. It really pays to shop around and to be patient.
If you want your own bottle of Yamazaki, check out the online retailers below. As an affiliate for these vendors, we earn a portion of the sale price.
Other Online Retailers of Yamazaki 18
If you can find a bottle through the above retailers, there are a couple more options. The Whisky Exchange offers fair prices and a huge selection. Theyre particularly useful if you live in the UK or the EU. Dekanta is our final recommendation. They tend to have higher prices than the competition though, so we only recommend them if youre desperate.
Whats your favorite source for Japanese whisky? Without blowing up your secret spot, Id love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
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Information and Whisky Prices
The prices of whisky shown by these search results are indicative and can be subject to change. Before finishing your transaction, do consult the whisky retailers website. VAT or Sales Tax is included within whisky prices, but shipping costs are not included. Your purchase may be subject to import duty.
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Yamazaki 18 Year Taste And Aftertaste
Yamazaki 18 comes with a nice burst of dark honey, malty grain, dates, berries, orange, dry oak, dark chocolate, cinnamon, grape skins, creamy vanilla, and grapefruit that reinforce that it was primarily matured in sherry casks .
It has the creaminess I expect from a single malt whiskey, but with a bit of dry roastiness that is not as common even in 18 year old Single Malt Scotch. Theres absolutely an interesting and expansive range of flavors, but they again lack the heft and roundness of a higher ABV whiskey. Yes, the ABV is intentional, but its really not my preference.
Chewing gives me dark honey, slightly toasted oak, dark chocolate, roasted prune, date, dried cherry, creamy vanilla, dried orange peel, grape skins, slightly toasted cracker, mint, and kiwi. There really is a superb range of sugars, dark fruit, tropical fruit, grain, oak, and spice that show off the age, sherry influence, and overall blending the problem is just thatthe ABV has me wanting so much more. The flavors themselves go two steps forward, but the ABV takes it back one.
Honey, date, blueberry, and orange sweetness mix with some of the roasted oak, grape skins, and mint in the aftertaste. Its very similar to the flavors themselves, and it just keeps going. The date, grape skins, orange, and mint really linger the longest. The minty sensation is so noticeable that it kind of makes me wonder if I just brushed my teeth .
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How To Drink Yamazaki 18
Yamazaki whisky is best served either neat, with a splash of water, or with a few ice cubes. A little water or ice can bring down the heat enough to match heavier dishes, though. Larger and/or extra cold cubes will chill the whisky without as much dilution as standard ice.
A snifter or dedicated Single Malt glass will provide an ideal tasting experience. Most glasses with a little extra capacity and an inwardly curved lip will suffice, however. Avoid shot glasses when possible.
My favorite glass for Yamazaki 18 is the Riedel Vinum Whisky Glass, which is pictured below. Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glasses are also outstanding if you want to get the most out of your Yamazaki. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases through these links.
Some Japanese Whiskies Arent From Japan Some Arent Even Whisky
Though the spirits have won praise and high prices, Japan has few rules for what those bottles should contain.
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By Clay Risen
Mamoru Tsuchiya is worried about the future of Japanese whisky. Sales are booming, but theres a problem: A large amount of the liquor isnt actually made in Japan, said Mr. Tsuchiya, one of that countrys leading whiskey experts.
Some of it isnt whiskey at all.
There are a lot of situations where you call it Japanese whisky, but theyre using imported Scotch or Canadian whisky, he said.
Global demand for Japanese whisky has exploded over the last decade bottles like the Yamazaki 18 Year Old, which once collected dust at $100, sell for five times the price and are now almost impossible to find. The dollar value of exports to America grew by nearly 50 percent in 2019 over the previous year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Its a regulatory Wild West that both established distilleries and start-ups are taking advantage of to feed growing global demand. Its also a potential public-relations disaster: The internet is already rife with articles claiming to pull back the curtain on the myth of Japanese whisky.
Japans laissez-faire regulatory approach is rooted, at least in part, in its complicated history with the West.
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Yamazaki 18 Year Smell
Whoa, that first sniff is a wall of dark fruitiness thats date, prune, and blueberry. Then comes the dark honey, this floral and slightly grassy note , pear, peach, and a spritz of fresh orange. Yamazaki 18 Year has very captivating darkness, yet still maintains a brighter and lighter side to it that makes it so interesting and expressive, and with absolutely no heat to get in the way.
I could sit here all day and smell it. At the same time, I also do notice a lack of heft and viscosity to some degree because of the 43% ABV. I absolutely despise that ABV.
Swirling coaxes out a brighter personality with cherry, grapefruit, pear, and honey up front followed some lightly toasted grains, vanilla, fennel, orange, mint, and just a slight oak char. The swirling seems to push the darker and heavier date and prune to the back, but it re-emerges over time as the whiskey settles .
Its dark, fruity, bright, vibrant, refreshing, and absolutely captivating all at once. Yamazaki 18 Year smells incredible, spanning so many different scents, constantly shifting, and making me want more with every subsequent smell.
How To Drink Yamazaki Whisky
The first time you drink Yamazaki Whisky, youll want to drink it neat. Even if youre not typically a whisky drinker, the quality of this spirit means youll appreciate its tasting notes and unique nature best by sipping it. This is one of the two traditional ways to drink whisky in Japan.
The other common way is drinking it in a Whisky Highball . But that doesnt mean those are the only two ways to drink Yamazaki Whisky.
A lot of attention in Japan focuses on the temperature of water when paired with whisky. You can enjoy your Yamazaki on the rocks, served with chilly blocks of ice, Mizuwari or Oyuwari .
Each different water temperature releases different elements of the spirit so, if youre on a mission to truly understand everything Yamazaki encompasses, youll want to sample a bottle with water at each temperature just preferably on a day when you dont have plans immediately afterwards.
Japanese whisky pairs great with Japanese food think soy sauce-based dishes to bring out Yamazakis sweetness or sushi for its strong fermented, fishy and salty flavours.
Theres also a growing market for craft cocktails made with Yamazaki, something that a number of Tokyos coolest cocktail bars are getting involved with.
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Place On The Whiskey Shelf
Yamazaki 18 Year leaves me terribly conflicted and is yet another byproduct of outrageous demand, too much money, and not enough whiskey. Dont get me wrong, Yamazaki 18 is an amazing single malt whiskey in its own right, beautifully blending dark and bright fruits, sweetness, oak, floralness, and refreshing mint into a fragrant, delicious, and expansive package that should be savored till the end. It truly is that excellent and I would absolutely drink it all the time if I could. The ABV just leaves me sad about what it could have been, because the scents are mesmerizing but the flavors suffer from it.
Yada yada yada yes people may want the lower ABV, maybe its best at that ABV, maybe Im just too used to higher ABV whiskey, and/ or maybe Im a snobwhatever. Maybe all of those things are true, but its crystal clear to me from actually drinking this whiskey that the ABV does a massive disservice to this outstanding whiskey, power washing away so much of the richness thats in there.
Its like preparing an amazing A5 Wagyu steak and lathering it in ketchup, or going to Jiros restaurant and drowning every piece of sushi in soy sauce. Japanese whiskey makers have a weird fixation with 43% ABV.
Reviewing Yamazaki 18 Tasting Notes
Yamazaki 18 features a sweet-ish profile with notes of vanilla, sandalwood, honeysuckle, Sherry finishing, caramel, raisin, and apricot.
Diving deeper into the glass youll find a very fruity Japanese single malt dried and fresh berries, and oxidative orchard fruit. This again points to the Sherry cask influence of the Yamazaki 18. There is a toasty quality but in the background. Theres also a nice blend of spices from cinnamon to ginger.
Yamazaki 18 shows hints of smoke, but not to the level of a typical Highland Scotch. Hints of Mizunara Japanese white oak aging are also displayed. This includes the previously mentioned sandalwood notes, plus honey, kyara , and coconut.
Did I miss anything? Share your tasting notes or opinions at the bottom of this post.
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Suntory Yamazaki 18 Year Old
ABV: 43% – Size: 70cl
More info C$1,087.50
An 18 year old Japanese whisky of the highest quality, this is the pinnacle of Yamazaki distillery’s output. Not so expensive that it’s unattainable but at the same time probably not affordable enough to be considered an everyday whisky. Treat yourself to a bottle of Yamazaki 18 Year Old and enjoy the deeply complex flavours, the rich oily texture, the gorgeous fruity finish. Heaven in a whisky bottle!
About the whisky
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