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 single malt whiskys although blended varieties are more common.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Basil, green apple and honey on the nose, on the palate there is grapefruit, green grapes, peppermint and thyme the finish is subtly sweet and a spicy finish with a hint of vanilla oak white pepper and ginger.
A fresh and fruity whisky from Yamazaki, full of red fruit and a touch of sherry cask. It's also got some mizunara (Japanese oak) matured whisky in the mix, which comes through as a complex spicy and almost incense-like note. A well put together and deep dram.
Tokinoka Black is a Japanese whisky that was created by Akito Ueda, master blender at the White Oak distillery. It was made with a blend of malt whisky (50%) and grain whisky (50%) before being in matured three different types of casks - ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and new oak barrels. This edition is bottled at 50% ABV
A Japanese blended whisky from the White Oak distillery, which is in Hyogo, just west of Kobe. Makes for a good value-for-money introduction to the world of Japanese whisky. White Oak is also known for producing the Akashi range...
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.