About Japanese Spirits

About Japanese Spirits
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

Shin 10 Year Old Mizunara Oak-Finished Japanese Malt Whisky
96 points
$130
A serious and contemplative Whisky that is an exceptional sipper revealing layer upon layer of sweet and spicy Mizinura complexity when given proper time for aeration.
Shin Mizunara Oak-Finished Japanese Malt Whisky
95 points
$90
Delightful and nuanced, this is for the Whisky lover that also appreciates the layers of complexity in a fine tea.
Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony Blended Japanese Whisky
94 points
$100
Depth and complexity of aromas and flavors balanced with a harmonious honey sweetness throughout; perfectly demonstrating the finesse of blended Whiskies.
Suntory Yamazaki 12 Years Old Single Malt Japanese Whisky
93 points
$180
A superb Japanese Whisky with fine poise and captivating layers of flavor on the long, graceful finish.
Roku Gin
93 points
$27
Gin
A deceivingly simple Gin that impresses with precise flavors that are superbly executed through the distillation process.
Tenjaku Japanese Vodka
91 points
$29
Whisper soft and incredibly clean.
Kaigan Japanese Blended Whisky
91 points
$37
A Whisky redolent of citrus and spice; this is nice enough to sip but a perfect base to amplify the ginger ale in a Highball.
Suntory Toki Blended Japanese Whisky
91 points
$34
Beautiful nose that draws you in with layers of floral and fruity flavors despite the slightly elevated ABV; dare to say this is designed to make a killer High Ball?
Tenjaku Pure Malt Japanese Whisky
91 points
$70
A shape-shifting whisky that offers a charming and delicate nose followed by a swift and assertive rush of piquant flavor on the palate.
Shin Mizunara Oak-Finished Japanese Blended Whisky
90 points
$60
A lovely bouquet of fruit, flowers, and grain on the nose with pops of spicy and oily Mizinura.