Japanese Whisky: beautiful book about the best booze east of Glen Garioch

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/31/japanese-whiskey-beautiful-bo.html

Beautifully produced and incredibly satisfying, Brian Ashcraft’s Japanese Whisky is more than a handsome primer about some of the world’s best booze. It’s also an assured and familiar exploration of the drink’s history and culture in the world’s fourth-largest whisky market, complemented by outstanding photography and dozens of tasting notes.


I was gifted a bottle of “Nikka Whiskey From The Barrel” for my birthday. Very nice in small doses - it’s 51% alcohol.
I remember “Old Suntory” whiskey from about 35 years ago but can’t find any mention of it now. My father was a Scotch drinker and quite liked it.

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Does the book explain why Japanese whisky tends to cost so much more than Scotch, which is. . . you know. . . the best whisky in the entire freakin’ world?

I like Suntory Toki a lot too, it’s also one of the more affordable Japanese whiskies, but I can still get Glenmorangie for less.

I bought a bottle of this whiskey in Tokyo for ~¥1500 in the store next to my hostel because it was raining. We drank it and watched game shows because we couldn’t sleep due to time difference.

[Extremely Bill Murray Voice]

It’s terrible whiskey :slight_smile:

Toki is quite wonderful in a Whisky and Soda, but the Yamazaki 12 is quite lovely neat.

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Japanese whisky is priced where it’s at because production sorely lags behind the demand. That’s the reason a bottle of Yamazaki 12 yr/old is priced around $90 these days. Is it a $90 whisky? Nope. More like a $50–and I remember stumbling into a $43 purchase ten or so years ago. Was it worth it then? Oh, so very much!


Limitation of how much can actually be produced vs upsurge in tourist demand. Lots of bottles I used to be able to buy easily in my neighborhood supermarket are no longer available.

Remember, whisky isnt like beer, it takes time.

That said even though pricing on actual Scotch isnt that high here, I prefer local stuff for taste and pricing. Even lots of the well known bottles are harder for me to get, I can still get nice unknown types including some regional ones that the tourists haven’t found out about yet.

On my last two Japan trips I visited the Suntory Yamazaki and Nikka Miyagikyo distilleries and picked up a few bottles of each for my personal supply.

Best whisky I had in Japan (and it’s in the running for the best EVER) was some Hibiki 21 at the Yamazaki tasting bar. Only 600 yen and smooth as hell.

10 years ago Murukai in Little Tokyo used to have a yearly $30 special sale on Yamazaki 12 but once it started winning international awards and the word was out, it was all over and you couldn’t find them on the shelves anymore.

I suspected as much. Scotland has well over 100 distilleries, and has been doing it much longer.

Japanese whisky? At least it isn’t Siamese vodka:

@Beschizza It appears that you misspelled Glengoyne in your title

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