It is no secret I quite like Japanese whiskies. It equally is no secret I find the price-tags abhorrent and many are frustratingly difficult to find.
So when I was asked by the editor of Man’s World magazine to write about the ‘5 Best Japanese Whiskies’ for their 15th Anniversary edition, knew the biggest challenge for readers is that what is here today is gone tomorrow. He left it to me to choose and I opted to feature producers / distilleries with a mix of more readily available plus hidden gems. As we all need a gem or two!
So what whiskies were featured and why?
- Everyone who knows about Japanese whisky, knows about Suntory:
- Most know Yamazaki, so kept a crowd pleaser with my personal preference the more distinctive ones!
- Quite a few also know Hakushu, with their delightful 18 year 43% that I wish was as affordable & available as it once was!
- However few would be familiar with the Chita grain whisky that goes into their Hibiki blend
- Another crowd pleaser was the next best known Nikka with the Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 Year 43%
- Purely to stump the folks who have ‘been there, done that’, I threw in a rarity – Ichiro’s Malt Houou-uhi (Phoenix) 46.5%
Naturally this article was prepared before I sampled the spectacular Karuizawa 39 year. And there is always more to discover!
Any favourite Japanese whiskies out there?