Japanese Whisky is loved because of its simple definition: It’s a whisky from the lovely country of Japan and enjoys the non-legalities of having any requirements as bourbon or Scotch does. If the Whisky you’re drinking in a bottle comes distilled or sold by a distillery in Japan, it’s Japanese Whisky. And yes, this whisky did enjoy a moment of overnight fame. Only a few years ago, we were only acquainted with brands like Hibiki and Yamazaki, to name a few popular brands. It’s popularity really peaked in 2014 in America when Jim Murry’s influential Whisky Bible guide named Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 its whisky of the year which sparked interest in Japanese whiskies.
Here are our top picks to satiate your Japanese Whisky craving:
Yamazaki Distillers Reserve Single Malt Japanese Whisky
A fresh and fruity whisky from Yamazaki, full of red fruit and hints of sherry cask. It boasts of having some mizunara (Japanese oak) matured whisky in the mix, which comes through as a complex spicy and almost incense-like note.
Suntory Torys Classic Japanese Whisky
Suntory Torys Classic is a light weighted Japanese spirit. Due to being below 40% ABV, this cannot be called a whisky in the EU, but is still made from a blend of malt and grain.
Hibiki 17 Year Old Japanese Whisky
A world-renowned Japanese blend, it is matured in Japanese mizunara oak casks at Yamazaki. Hibiki means harmony, which has certainly been achieved in this wonderful and iconic blend.
Akashi Japanese Blended Whisky
A lesser-known whisky outside the local Japanese market, Akashi is specially produced for the European market using a mixture of Japanese and foreign-made malt and grain whisky to produce a reasonably priced everyday blend.