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
$39.99
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
$64
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
$69.99
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
$70
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
$34
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.