Japanese Whisky Versus the World
Japanese single malts have achieved cult status around the world
Eric Asimov, New York Times
Japanese whisky has been around for less than a century, enjoyed by a small band of enthusiasts. Suddenly, brands like Hibiki start winning all the major international whiskey awards. How did this happen? More importantly, how can you become a part of this rising phenomena?
Japanese whiskies are now some of the most sought after and highly valued in the world. They have taken traditional Scotch and American methods and imbued them with new ideas and classical Japanese touches. They are now a signature product that not only rings true of whisky but also speaks to Japanese terroir.
Our master distiller will take you on a guided tour on Japanese whiskies, and how they stack up to their inspirations: Bourbon and Single Malt Scotch.
In this class, you will learn how these award-winning whiskies are made, but also the history and culture of these great spirits. The goal is for the student to be able to appreciate the subtleties of Japanese whiskies. Kanpai!
Previous Tasting Sheets
Corn, Char & Column
1. Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
2. Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon
Oak, Olfactory & Oscillation
1. Kaiyo Japanese Mizunara Oak Whisky
2. Westland American Oak Whiskey
Peat, Passage & Pastoral
1. Yamazaki 12 Year Old Single Malt
2. Craigellachie 13 Year Old Single Malt
In the three years since critic Jim Murray shocked the whisky-drinking population by proclaiming single malt from Yamazaki distillery as the best in the world, demand for Japanese whisky has spiked. But even without that honor, drinkers have been seeking out the smooth-sipping style for its diversity and level of innovation.
If you’re not familiar with Japanese whisky, here’s what you need to know: Compared to the strict requirements imposed to make Scotch whisky and America’s bourbon Japanese whisky has one basic rule: it’s whiskey that’s made in Japan. It’s also some of the best whisky around. The flavors often resemble Scotch, which makes sense considering that most Japan’s top whisky-makers began their careers by traveling to Scotland to learn production techniques. Yet, one sip and it’s easy to see that the distinctly silky texture is what sets Japanese whisky apart.
Saveur Magazine, July 2017