About Japanese Whisky

About Japanese Whisky
Outside of Scotland, there may be no other country that produces as many great whiskeys as Japan. A few natives began producing whiskeys in Japan in the early 20th century, and armed with knowledge from time spent in Scotland learning their craft, blended whiskeys were born in Japan. Single malts did no come about in Japan until the late 20th century and today they are regarded as among the finest in the world.

The finest Japanese single malts are aged for a lengthy period, from 12-18 years. Styles vary from relatively light to more full-bodied with a peaty quality very much in the style of a single malt Scotch. Flavors range from honeyed cereal to brown spices, leather and tobacco. The quality is outstanding; these are meant to be sipped and enjoyed with a cigar after dinner.

Top Picks for Japanese Whisky

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky
94 points
$79.99
Clear gold color. Aromas of green pear and coriander, cherry blossom, jamon iberico and melon skewer, and sea spray with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, very complex, long toasted peanuts with coconut sugar, Carr’s wheat crackers, chrysanthemum tea, honeyed-smoked turkey, creme de cassis, ginger, sweet potato pie, and lemon balm and white pepper finish. A lovely and refined Japanese whiskey that displays its enormous character with poised restraint.
94 points $79.99
Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky
91 points
$79.99
Light gold color. Earthy aromas of autumn leaves, yuzu zest, ripe apple, starfruit skin, peach skin and persimmon, and campfire with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, prodigious, very long dried ginger, pu erh tea, luxury pipe tobacco, enoki mushroom and lemongrass, and orange peel and star anise finish. An elegant, nuanced journey of the senses.
91 points $79.99
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.