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
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
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
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
A superb Japanese Whisky with fine poise and captivating layers of flavor on the long, graceful finish.
Roku Gin
93 points
A deceivingly simple Gin that impresses with precise flavors that are superbly executed through the distillation process.
Tenjaku Japanese Vodka
91 points
Whisper soft and incredibly clean.
Kaigan Japanese Blended Whisky
91 points
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
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
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
A lovely bouquet of fruit, flowers, and grain on the nose with pops of spicy and oily Mizinura.