To add insult to injury an English malt was awarded best European whisky . Try another? An underrated single malt that’s surprisingly easy to find, this one comes from White Oak distillery in Hyogo prefecture. The sharp temperature changes and humidity in the mountains mean Mars whisky matures at a different rate, giving it a sweeter, deeper flavour profile. Personally, I’m more interested in how a whisky tastes than by how it looks but this does have a nice bottle, I suppose. RECOMMENDED: Sample some Japanese alcohol you didn’t even know existed. They quickly become a rival of the Suntory company. For one the SFWSC, curiously, does not have a dedicated category for Japanese Whisky. The answer to the latter question is, usually, yes; it is more often than not delicious whisky that is quite different from single malt scotch, its closest spiritual relative. And did we mention price tag? A producer can actually buy whisky from other countries, blend and bottle it in Japan, and call it Japanese whisky even though none of the liquid was actually distilled there. The result is an extremely light spirit that you should really be drinking in a highball, but it doesn’t sip so badly on its own either. “It’s what started the onslaught of recognition and it’s the bottle that put Japanese whisky on the map.”. Your email address will not be published. According to the brand, the blend is made up of “mellow and smooth Coffey Grain Whisky and aromatic non-peated Miyagikyo malts, along with a touch of Coffey Malt Whisky and Yoichi malts to enhance the bright sweetness and rich body.” On their own, these are all good whiskies, so it comes as no surprise that they work together in harmony as well. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, but it’s nice to know what is really in the bottle. Hailing from Nagano prefecture, the Mars Maltage Cosmo is a blended whisky that’s been aged in bourbon, sherry and American White Oak new casks. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. This is a quintessential Japanese whisky that anyone interested in the category should try at least once. Japanese whiskeys are very popular and can be difficult to find, especially those older than a decade. I’m a London-based whisky writer and co-founder of The Rhythm and Booze Project, a duo fusing live music and whisky through gigs, tasting events, and multimedia. Japanese whiskies you can actually buy (for now). The annual two-day event sees Scottish and Japanese whisky companies showcasing their spirits to the public, and offering their alcoholic drinks for tasting and sampling. Reviewers who drink it like the taste and often use it for mixing cocktails. Mention this bottle to a casual drinker and they might think you are talking about some kind of coffee-flavored whisky for brunch drinking. These liquor shops in Tokyo have them all, Find the top bars in Time Out's ultimate guide to drinking in Tokyo: from craft beer and wine to sake and cocktails. Yoichi’s No Age Statement (NAS) bottles come after the dwindling supplies of Japanese age statement whiskies. Japanese whiskey, particularly from Suntory, can be very costly and hard to get, but this bottle from the Hakushu distillery in the Japanese Alps is phenomenal. Whisky better than Scotch?Spirits specialists across the world took note. That is why so many Japanese whiskeys do not have an age on the label.Due to demand, the price has risen significantly for some of the better whiskeys. Currently, Kiuchi Whisky is only sold at the company’s Hitachino Brewing pubs in Tokyo and Mito, Ibaraki prefecture. The oak is the most prominent feature but it does settle down if you let it sit for a while. Two other Japanese whiskies, Ichiro’s Malt & Grain and Kirin Fuji Single Grain, snagged awards, too, Craft gins in Japan are distinguished by their use of uniquely Japanese botanicals. Suntory’s Hakushu distillery is a stunning place to visit, located in the forested mountains—a.k.a. In 2001, Nikka’s Yoichi whisky was named the “Best of … The ‘Cosmo’ part is named after a mountain in the Japan Central Alps close to the Mars Whisky Distillery. If you have the determination to find them and the cash to afford them, that is. Copyright © 2020 A lot of whisky fans outside Japan don’t realise that Kirin – most famous for its Kirin Ichiban first-press beer – is also in the business of making whisky.