About World Whiskies from Japan

About World Whiskies from Japan
Japan has become a major player in the single malt category; as some examples are considered among the finest in the world. Quality malt whiskey in Japan was first produced in the 1920s; today there are several distilleries that craft products based on single malt Scotch. There are numerous styles from very light to those with a heavy peaty quality. The best examples are aged from 12 to 18 years in wood barrels. The other main spirit in Japan is shochu, a beverage made from any number of ingredients, such as barley, rice, buckwheat or even carrots. Having a clear appearance, a shochu displays a wide range of aromas such as fig, fruit cake, paprika and even marinated mushrooms. Shochu has an alcoholic percentage ranging form 25% to 45% and is served neat, on the rocks or sometimes mixed with fruit juice.

Top Picks for Japan

World Whiskies

Tenjaku Blended Japanese Whisky
91 points
Gold color. Aromas of raisin toast, sticky rice, gingerbread, iodine, straw, violet, and ripe melons with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light body and a peppery, charming, medium-long pears, honey, marmalade, and pink peppercorns finish. A rock solid Japanese Blended Whisky with nice balance; a good bridge for traditional Scotch Whisky drinkers.
91 points $39.99
Hibiki Harmony Blended Japanese Whisky
91 points
Pale amber color. Aromas and flavors of candied raisins, toasted fruitcake, roasted pineapple, buttery pastry with honey, and walnut praline with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, engaging, long finish revealing notes of cinnamon babka and bananas foster finish. A delicate, understated, sherry-influenced Whisky that delivers lasting complex flavor.
Nikka From the Barrel Japanese Blended Whisky
91 points
Dark amber color. Aromas of cinnamon pastry, pickled ginger, sourdough, honey, and raisins with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, compelling, medium-length crepes, dulce de leche, butter-poached pear, and toasted spice cake finish. A rich and toasty Japanese blended whisky that offers big character that will stand up in craft cocktails.
91 points $69.99
Helios Distillery Kura The Whiskey
89 points
Clear color. Aromas of honey on whole wheat toast, peat, sliced asian pear, cherry wood, and tobacco with a silky, crisp, dryish light body and a tingling, breezy clover blossom, toasted rice, charred bell pepper, and burnt sugar finish. A smoky malt for superb highballs.
Suntory Toki Blended Japanese Whisky
87 points
Gold color. Aromas of gingerbread with hazelnut, marjoram, golden apples, and autumn leaves with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, appealing, medium-length tea with honey, glazed pears, porridge with cream, nutmeg, and candied orange peel finish. A solid Japanese Whisky with a delicate melange of flavors and an easy-drinking style for highballs and beyond.