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Jono
03-23-2009, 14:22
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601093&sid=aZYK3BBcghFQ&refer=home

Whiskey War: Japan’s Hibiki Vies Scotch Brands for Sales, Awards

By Rocky Swift and Masatsugu Horie

"...Barrels from a type of Asian oak, put to use when supply from America dried up during World War II, infuse Yamazaki’s whiskies cured in the wood with what’s been described as a distinctive “old temple” aroma.

Japanese makers need to play up those differences if they’re to scratch out a bigger presence overseas, Buxrud said.

“These components contribute to broadening the aroma and taste spectrum of whiskey,” he said. “They are not copy-cats....”

> Interesting...Asian Oak..not familiar with the species...old temple aroma...hmmm...what is that...incense, must?

sku
03-23-2009, 14:39
I can't speak to old temple aroma, but can attest to the fact that the Japanese distillers are making some great whiskies. I've tried about a dozen of them and have been very impressed across the board.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, there are only two bottles that are available in the US, though both are quite nice: Suntory Yamazaki 12 and 18.

Jono
03-23-2009, 15:00
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiRy1VqPFqI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-dQcvTC3Q0

Bill Murray

Lost Pollito
03-23-2009, 15:05
I can't speak to old temple aroma, but can attest to the fact that the Japanese distillers are making some great whiskies. I've tried about a dozen of them and have been very impressed across the board.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, there are only two bottles that are available in the US, though both are quite nice: Suntory Yamazaki 12 and 18.

That is correct. Only the 12 and 18. Lets hope some more variety makes it over soon. In 2007 a Japanese Whisk)e)y took 1st place over Stag IIRC.

Luna56
03-23-2009, 21:36
I believe that Nikka Whisky is also available in the US, I'm sure I've seen it somewhere.

Japanese single malts are excellent, really worth a try.

Temple aroma sounds enticing, bet it would be an interesting flavor in whisky.
There's no way to accurately describe what an old Japanese temple smells like. I hope you all get to experience that sometime if you haven't already. You never forget it.

Cheers!

P.S. Hmmm, I could be wrong about US availability, as I haven't been able to locate any online yet. I'll dig some more when I have the time.

Attila
03-24-2009, 19:58
I dont know, there was a base funkyness in all the whiskys I had at the Yamazaki distillery out side of Kyoto last year. Gimme a highland or a bourbon any day.

Luna56
03-24-2009, 21:28
Please, tell me about the "funkyness." I never found that in the few Japanese single malts (JSM?) I tried but I'd like to hear your experiences.

My experiences with JSM's have always been very positive. Funny, I don't get a big "Scottish" vibe from the whiskys, if that makes sense, but I never felt that I was ever drinking substandard or badly made whisky.

Cheers!

Attila
03-24-2009, 23:42
Perhaps its just the type of Japanese wood they use in barrels. Or perhaps it was the yeast.

I never said the Yamazaki whiskys were substandard or badly made. Whin I tasted them, there was common flavor I found in them that I dislike, it reminded me of beer wort, or sometimes that strange flavor (not oxidation) that sherry can sometimes have. So perhaps the yeast doesnt agree with my palate.




Please, tell me about the "funkyness." I never found that in the few Japanese single malts (JSM?) I tried but I'd like to hear your experiences.

My experiences with JSM's have always been very positive. Funny, I don't get a big "Scottish" vibe from the whiskys, if that makes sense, but I never felt that I was ever drinking substandard or badly made whisky.

Cheers!

Megawatt
03-25-2009, 17:07
Perhaps its just the type of Japanese wood they use in barrels. Or perhaps it was the yeast.

I never said the Yamazaki whiskys were substandard or badly made. Whin I tasted them, there was common flavor I found in them that I dislike, it reminded me of beer wort, or sometimes that strange flavor (not oxidation) that sherry can sometimes have. So perhaps the yeast doesnt agree with my palate.

The Yamazaki 12 does have a very doughy flavour to it, which is one of the things I found so enticing.

brockagh
03-30-2009, 01:06
Just about all the Japanese whiskey I've had has been excellent. Not all the scotch I've had has been excellent, though.

Luna56
03-30-2009, 22:49
I never said the Yamazaki whiskys were substandard or badly made. Whin I tasted them, there was common flavor I found in them that I dislike, it reminded me of beer wort, or sometimes that strange flavor (not oxidation) that sherry can sometimes have. So perhaps the yeast doesnt agree with my palate.

Well, I wasn't implying that you said they were badly made, just asserting my own opinion.

There does seem to be a strong "cereal" taste to much of the JSMs I've tasted, I know what you mean. I get that sherry reference; that's the thing I hate about WTRB, that weird sherry-like thing happening in there.

Campai!

Jono
03-31-2009, 09:45
Both the Suntory Yamazaki 12 and 18 get excellent "review scores" of 93 and 97 from the Binny's site:

http://www.binnys.com/spirits/search/?advs=2&ast=44&asc=54&astxt=

The 18 is over double the cost so the 12 appears to be a reasonable first choice in the Japanese whiskey experience at $34.99. Will probably add that to my collection next time I am out buying. They are both 86 proof.

PAspirit1
04-04-2009, 15:53
I'm interested in trying a JSM but I've never seen a bottle.

Megawatt
04-04-2009, 21:45
I'm having a glass of The Yamazaki 12 right now. Marvellous stuff! Fragrant, with a rich, full flavour. A tad sour on the finish.

AVB
04-14-2009, 19:02
I did a review of the Yamazaki 12 (http://www.cigarpass.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=44922) last year if you wish to read it.

bonneamie
04-21-2009, 18:43
The Guardian (Manchester, England) had an article yesterday about the subject of Japanese vs Scottish scotch.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/21/japan-whisky-industry

Luna56
04-21-2009, 19:58
Interesting article, Amy, thanks for the link.

The writer missed on a few points, i.e., Sho-Chu isn't really very "fiery," but all in all it was a great read.

Japanese single malts are very, very high quality whiskys, but in no way do they dwarf the great whiskys of Scotland. True character simply cannot be replicated no matter how assiduously one adheres to the science, if you know what I mean.

Cheers!

butephoto
04-29-2009, 02:03
A scotch (Highland Park 21yo) won World Whisky of the year this year, but last year it was a Japanese whisky. A Japanese whisky won best blend this year, though. Japanese whisky is superbly crafted so it's no surprise that it's gaining ground with malt fans.