Japanese whisky is traditionally produced in a similar manner to scotch whisky, however the temperatures in Japan are closer to those in Kentucky so they can have a hint of bourbon about them. You can get both single malt whisky although blended varieties are more common.
Suntory are the gods of the Japanese whisky scene and their Hakushu line is amongst the most popular. The Hakushi distillery is hidden in the forests near the Japanese Alps and this particular offering is aged for 12 years. An exceptional single malt, Hakushu 12 year is a light and refreshing offering with hay and mixed peels on the nose and gentle barley malt, smokiness and hazelnut coming through in the taste. Sweetness is perfectly balanced against spice.
A green and crunchy entry in the Hakushu Range, combining whisky of a wide variety of ages, from across the range of casks used by the distillery to create a gently smoky dram, packed with fruity flavour.
Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a blend of Japanese malt and grain whiskies from Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. Presented in the brand's trademark 24-faceted bottle representing the Japanese seasons, this is light, approachable and moreish with enticing notes of orange peel and white chocolate.
Cosmo from Mars Maltage is a blended malt that includes whisky from Shinshu in Japan. A big hit when released at the 2015 Tokyo International Bar Show, this is a permanent addition to the fledgling distillery's range.
Palate: Orange oil and chocolate, fresh barley and toasty oak.
Finish: Fresh plum and white grape. Cereals and chocolate biscuits.
Nikka All Malt tells you almost all you need to know in its name. A wonderful blended whisky from Japan, you’ll enjoy flavours of malt from Yoichi and malt and Coffey still whisky from Miyagikyou. The flavours of these whiskies are combined together wonderfully, delicate both on the nose and palate, with warm malty notes coming through, toffee flavours standing out and a lightness to its finish. A clean and refreshing whisky.
The Yin of Japanese whisky, Nikka Black is a wonderful example of how exceptional Japanese whisky can be. An award winner that Jim Murray has highlighted as one of the best, this is one offering you truly want to taste. Fresh and clean on the nose, smokiness is kept to a minimum with intense notes of peat and vanilla coming through. Touches of toffee and coffee blend with light oak to create a shining example of what Japan can do.
Nikka From The Barrel is an exceptional Japenese whisky which truly packs a punch. Power is truly the name of the game with Nikka From The Barrel. A balanced nose introduces floral flavours, fresh fruit, spice and also oak leading into a full-bodied punchy flavour on the palate. Winter spice, toffee and vanilla come alongside the bright fruity notes, creating a flavour which is welcoming, enticing and almost demands you take just one more sip.
Yamazaki 12 year old is probably the most famous Japanese whisky there is. An exceptional single malt, it was one of the first seriously marketed offerings from Japan to reach the rest of the world. Intensely enjoyable and rich with nut oils and citrus zest, Yamazaki 12 year old is smooth in the mouth with biting winter spice providing that classic whisky flavour, with the fruity notes ensuring a rounded finish. A must for first-time Japanese whisky drinkers.
An award-winning offering, Yamazaki 18 Year Old is an exceptional Japanese single malt which is certainly worth of at least one taste. On the nose you’ll feel its thickness, with resinous notes, zesty citrus and a hint of sherry. When drinking you’ll enjoy an array of orchard fruits and spiced oak, paired with fragrant floral notes and sherry-infused peels. The finish is long with fruit and oak combining beautifully to create a memorable flavour.