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  1. #1
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    Question Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    All this brewhaha with Suntory buying Beam has made me realize that I know next to nothing about Japanese whisky. Are there any easily obtainable bottlings that can be considered good benchmarks? Not looking to spend a ton of money here, just want to get an idea of what their whisky is all about flavor-wise.

  2. #2
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    Re: Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    A copy of Scotch and in Japanese fashion a very good copy, also pricey.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  3. #3
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    Re: Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    I just did a quick search of some major stores around the country and didn't find much in the way of Japanese whisky. In additional to the saki and plumb wines there were a few Suntorys, some rice vodka and distilled plum spirits.

    I've had Suntory whisky and Yamazaki single malt, both tasted like Scotch to me and cost a helluva lot more than a comparable Scotch.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  4. #4
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    Re: Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    I don't know if I have seen the Suntory name of late as the primary name on a bottle but Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki are all Suntory products I have seen regularly around here. Indeed they were about the only options for awhile. Except for a period of time right after the tsunami when they disappeared for awhile. Like most other whiskey they have gotten steadily more expensive over the past year or two. I could buy Yamazaki 18 for close to $100 not that long ago but now it is more like $150.

    To me it is good but often more subtle in flavor overall. But I don't think we get a lot of the more unusual expressions they make in Japan. Selection is a getting better with the increasing availability of Nikka here and probably other brands not typical in Atlanta but in the bigger East and West Coast markets like Karuizawa.

    Can be pricey though as Squire notes!

    A Suntory Reserve blended whisky from probably 20+ years ago!

    Suntory 1.JPGSuntory 2.JPG
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    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

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  5. #5
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    Re: Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    Yamazaki 12 is the usual gateway and is available pretty much everywhere. The Japanese single malts I've had have not excited me. They tasted like particularly dull Speysiders. I was impressed with Hibiki when I tried it though. Very good for a blend.
    bibamus, moriendum est
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  6. #6
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    Re: Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    Where's Chainwhip? He'll give you the low down...
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    There's the right way, the wrong way and the Max Power Way!

  7. #7
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    Re: Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    The Hakushu 12 is another good whisky. It is slightly peated but not in the vein of Ardbeg or Laphroaig. Think more like a subdued Ardmore. It is easily drinkable.


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  8. #8
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    Re: Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    I am a fan of the Yamazaki malts. 12 year is a good entry level but the 18 is the real treat. That is the extent of my Japanese whiskey experience.

  9. #9
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    Re: Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    They are mild, I grant that, more in the style of Canadian than Scotch.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  10. #10
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    Re: Japanese Whisky Suggestions

    Nikka Yoichi 15 is a favorite if mine. It compares well to Highland Park 18. Hibiki 12 is really unique and interesting for a blend, given that it is finished in plum wine casks. Yamazaki is good, but I've been a but underwhelmed by the 18.

 

 

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