Let’s be honest here. When you think of Japan, the first thing to come to mind is not whiskey, alcohol or any sort of heavy partying. In fact, that’s one of the last things you would think about.
But in reality, some of the world’s top notch whiskeys are made in Japan!
Scotch has always been dubbed the prime whiskey, while others argue Kentucky bourbon or Irish whiskey. For centuries, though, Scotch was determined time and again to be the superior drink, from winning professional contests to winning the flavor of the average Joe in the average home.
However, in 2001 that began to change when a Japanese whiskey won the country’s first ever international award for “Best Whiskey.” Ever since then, Japan whiskeys have routinely defeated whiskeys from Scotland, Ireland and America in international competitions. Suntory, a Japanese brewer and distiller, has won gold medals every year since 2003.
Shocking? You’re not the only one to think so.
For years, Japan was an afterthought in whiskey, but over the last 20 years, it has become a mainstay.
For those looking to delve into Japanese whiskey but don’t know where to start, begin with one of these:
Nikka Whisky – Great tasting, decently priced with fruit, oak and winter spice
Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey – Syrupy, floral, soft and more bourbon-esque than scotch
Hakushu Single Malt Whiskey (Aged 12 years) – Fruity yet not too sweet with a blend of natural flavors. Not for the first-time Japanese whiskey drinker, but once you’ve acquired the taste, this is a go-to for sure!
This is great news for all the Whiskey lovers! It’s always nice to learn a little history behind your favorite beverage, am I right?