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

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.
Tenjaku Blended Japanese Whisky
91 points
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
A delicate, understated, sherry-influenced whisky that delivers lasting complex flavor.
Haku Vodka
88 points
Light alcohol sensation which is balanced with a touch of melon and presented in a very clean and polished manner.
Tenjaku Japanese Gin
88 points
A polished, mellow, earthy gin that will excel in creamy gin cocktails.
Sakurao Original Japanese Dry Gin
88 points
A shape-shifting gin with flavor that builds with each sip.
Suntory Toki Blended Japanese Whiskey
87 points
An ethereal Japanese Blended Whisky with delicate fruit and mineral characters.
Sakurao Classic Japanese Dry Gin
87 points
A rock solid gin with nice concentration of flavor and a versatile style; cocktail away!
Roku Gin
86 points
A soft, easy, earthy gin for savory cocktails.
135º East Hyogo Dry Gin
86 points
A mild gin with distinctive flavors; great for cool weather cocktails.