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Where To Get Yamazaki Whiskey

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The Yamazaki 12 Tasting Notes

The Yamazaki whiskies are known for their fruity and spicy nature.

Typically, theres also only a faint hint of peat influence. Soft and smooth these whiskies are easy to enjoy. The Yamazaki 12 year exemplifies these characteristics.

Twelve years of cask aging has given this single malt a beautiful bronze color. Its also aromatic, supple textured, and very fruity. Specific tasting notes include apricot, golden apple, raspberry, lime zest, and raisin. Allspice, vanilla, and a faint touch of heather also show up.

This single malt uses new American Oak, plus some Mizunara Japanese white oak and the oak spice shows through without dominating. There is a moderately rich malty profile with notes of peach and orange blossom.

Did I miss anything? Share your tasting notes or opinions at the bottom of this post.

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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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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Best Overall: Yamazaki 12 Year Old


Region: Japan | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Fruit, Clove, Orange

Suntorys Yamazaki 12 Year Old could be considered the core expression of the brands single malt lineup . It is probably the best known Suntory whisky and was once pretty easy to find .

This is a floral and fruity single malt reminiscent of scotch but in a style that is very much its own. All in all, it’s an excellent starting point for those wishing to explore the category of Japanese whisky.

Reviewing Yamazaki 18 Tasting Notes

Yamazaki 12 Jahre Malt Whisky, kaufen im online Store

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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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.

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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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    A post shared by Bogyeong Serah Kim on Jun 25, 2019 at 10:20pm PDT

    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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    California Residents: Tap Here For Proposition 65 Warning

    WARNING: Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to
    WARNING: Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A , a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to:

    Best Under $: Nikka Coffey Grain

    Yamazaki 12 Year Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky Review

    Region: Japan | ABV: 45% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Coffee, Caramel

    Nikka is another major whisky producer in Japan. Coffey Grain is named after Aeneas Coffey, the inventor of the continuous still, and is made mostly from corn as opposed to the barley used for single malts. This gives the delicious whisky a creamy texture with a sweetness that should appeal to bourbon fans.

    Region: Japan | ABV: 45% | Tasting Notes: Baking spice, Pear, Vanilla

    “This whisky is from the Nagano prefecture in Japan,” says Michael Brooks, co-owner of Bed-Vyne Wine & Spirits. This blend is made from a mash bill that is mostly corn, with some malted barley and rye as well. It has aromas of vanilla with hints of baking spices, and the palate is lean with pear and quince notes. This is a great summer sipper and excellent for making cocktails because of its 45 percent alcohol level,” he says.

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    Best Nas Blended: Akashi White Oak

    Region: Japan | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Spice, Marshmallow

    “This blended whisky is a crowd-pleaser,” says Brooks. Made by a sake expert, this whisky is aged in a variety of cask types, including shochu, bourbon and sherry. It is complex and gives you a little bit of everything that scotch drinkers love. It has the richness of American oak, smokey peat undertones and leather on the finish,” he says.

    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.

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    Collecting Yamazaki 12 Year

    Its common to wonder if the 12-year Yamazaki is a collectible whisky. My opinion is that its not. It is definitely desirable, but two primary factors keep its collectibility in check.

    First, there is plenty of supply. Suntory has kept this whisky in stock during the all-time peak of demand.

    And second, the wholesale price of Yamazaki 12 is low. Bar and retails shops dont want you to know this. But depending on the market, the price is usually less than $90.

    Suntory isnt charging that much for Yamazaki 12. High prices for this single malt are due to high demand from consumers and retailers and restaurants taking advantage of this fact.

    Tasting Yamazaki At The Distillery And Whisky Museum

    Yamazaki 12 Year Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky 700ml

    The Suntory Yamazaki Distillery is one of the must-see destinations if you visit Kyoto or Osaka.

    You can visit the Yamazaki whisky museum and tasting room free of charge.

    They serve many different Suntory whiskies, including cask samples used for blending some of their most famous products. The prices for the pours are reasonable. Top-end whiskies like Yamazaki 25, Hibiki 30, and Hakushu 25 are available for around $30 . Thats a great deal!

    The distillery has an impressive library of whiskies that will make you drool. If youre interested in doing the Yamazaki distillery tour, youre going to need some luck.

    Heres Yamazakis page where you can *. Tours are hard to get but worth seeking out.

    While in the area, be sure to check out the 100 famous water: Rikyu no Mizu . Its a twenty minute walk from the distillery. The water is indeed delicious and the shrine is a special experience.

    *The Yamazaki Distillery is temporarily closed to the public during the Covid pandemic.

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    Yamazaki 12yr Whiskey 750ml

    In stock

    Yamazaki is Suntorys flagship single malt whisky, from Japans first and oldest malt distillery. This 12 year old first came onto the market in 1984 and was the first seriously marketed Japanese single malt whisky. Since then, it has acquired something of a cult following, and for good reason! A wonderfully elegant and smooth single malt thats certainly not lacking in flavor.

    Limit 1 Per Person.

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    Best For Bourbon Fans: Nikka From The Barrel

    Courtesy of Master of Malt

    Region: Japan | ABV: 51.4% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Caramel, Oak

    As a fan of American bourbon, I have found a favorite in Nikka From The Barrel Whisky, says Joshua Lopez, bar manager at Osaka Nikkei Miami. It has delicate notes of vanilla, butterscotch and a hint of orange peel. Nikka From The Barrel holds its ground complementing an Old Fashioned, and has enough character to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

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    You Can Also Buy Imported Whiskies Through Suntory:

    Canadian Club, Connemara, Macallan, Laphroaig, Jim Beam , Ballantine, Glenfiddich, Bowmore. “The bamboo lunch box that brings joy inside and out.”“…it’s simple design and perfect proportions make anything you put inside look beautiful.”Yours for 7560Y.bamboo makerSuntory WhiteNeed a glass to go with your Whisky?Do you want one with the Yamazaki branding? Or something more fanciful to your liking?

    Yamazaki Whisky Food Pairings

    The Soul Place: The Origin of Yamazaki

    Yamazaki whisky has a gentle, fruity nature and makes a great match with many types of food.

    This is a great whisky for rich desserts like creme brulee, pecan pie, or anything smothered in ganache. Carmalized, spice , and tropical fruit elements in desserts are going to harmonize with Yamazaki.

    Yamazaki 12 Year is also outstanding with steak. This pairing works especially well with fatty cuts like ribeye and New York strip. Both black Angus and wagyu are excellent choices.

    Do you have a favorite Yamazaki food pairing? Share it with everyone by commenting at the bottom of this post.

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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 very top-shelf cocktail, but it’s really best sipped and savored 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.

    Shop Online Retailers Of The Yamazaki 12 Year Old

    If you want your own bottle of Yamazaki, check out these online retailers below. Prices will vary based on the retailer and your location. So make sure to shop around if you want to get the best deal.

    We may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

    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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    The Yamazaki Distillery: Suntory

    Distillery: Yamazaki Distillery Location: Shimamoto, Osaka

    EST: 1923 Official Site:English

    The Yamazaki Distillery was the first whisky distillery in Japan. Today, its still the most famous. Its whiskies are probably the most sought after of the Japanese whisky category. A sense of terroir comes from their soft water and the humid, warm Osaka climate. The distillery currently makes a variety of single malt whiskies, all of which come highly recommended.

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