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bayouredd

Japanese Whiskey Folks...

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bayouredd

Hey guys, I have relegated myself to trying Japanese Whiskeys at the bar first but a new stock arrived at my fav LS and I don't want to lament a missed opportunity...

Are any of these worth the price and purchase?

20190207_132646.jpg.a1435ff78792e1dd0a5edc9f2f97f2ad.jpg

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jeffrey r

No, none of those are worth the purchase at those prices, IMO. A few years ago when I discovered Japanese whisky, I purchased Nikka Taketsuru 12 Yr (now the NAS above), Hibiki 12 Yr (now the NAS above), and Yamazaki 12 Yr. Most in the $60-$70 range. Even then, some people considered those overpriced, but I had no qualms making those purchases.

In today’s Japanese market, the only bottle that I find compelling is Nikka From the Barrel at $60. I have added a few of those to my stocks of the aforementioned 12 year bottlings. Like bourbon where NAS often means a decrease in quality, the same has been true for Japanese whisky. Simply inevitable.

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Kane

Yamazaki 12, Hakushu 12, and Hibiki 12 were all excellent everyday drinkers when they went for ~$40 at your neighborhood grocery store five years ago. None in the picture is half as good as those.

 

And I second Nikka from the Barrel, that's probably the best value Japanese whisky today.

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kevinbrink

Agree with both of the gentlemen above Japanese Whisky at this point is very much bad value for dollar, I will occasionally splurge on a lingering bottle of 12 year old Japanese whisky if I find it lingering on the shelf under $90 but that's about it. I'll third Nikka from the Barrel as well. If I were going to recommend a world whiskey for someone to dabble in a this point my suggestion would be Indian, Amrut, Paul John and to a lesser extent Rampur are all doing fantastic things right now particularly if you like high proof whiskey I would suggest the high proof Amrut and Paul John offerings in their core ranges as I find them to be pretty fantastic. 

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tanstaafl2

The Nikka Coffey Grain (and Coffey Malt) were both interesting back in the day (when they were more like $40). Bu they will probably not be $40 again in the foreseeable future. In a decent whiskey bar you might find one or more of these on the shelf to try before you decide.

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NightCru

I think the consensus is that the Nikka Coffey Grain and Coffey Malt whiskys are not worth their prices but I'm going to dissent and say for me they are.  I would agree they are a bit overpriced for what you get but the amount of enjoyment I get out of them is still larger than the price so I continue to buy both and I'm always happy that I have them on hand.

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PaulO

Are these very different from Scotch?

My understanding is these are from a barley malt mash bill, and Scotch Whisky was their influence.

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kevinbrink
22 minutes ago, PaulO said:

Are these very different from Scotch?

My understanding is these are from a barley malt mash bill, and Scotch Whisky was their influence.

Scotch is a pretty broad character there is a lot of variation between say a typical Islay and a Lowland and lots of different barrel types so in some ways Japanese whiskies could be easily misconstrued as scotch in a blind tasting. Much of what is on the shelves from the Japanese outfits these day is at least partially sourced from outside Japan, Nikka for instance owns Ben Nevis so it's easy to surmise that they did so to add volume to their pure malt releases and some of the smaller producers are completely bottling foreign distilled spirits. I've been avoiding the category unless I find an older bottle lingering on the shelves, though I did buy a bottle of Nikka Straight from the Barrel. Forbes ran this article today https://www.forbes.com/sites/felipeschrieberg/2019/02/26/yamazaki-and-nikka-discontinue-more-releases-as-japanese-whisky-crisis-deepens/?fbclid=IwAR3mpaewSPbwdh0x1ZeaXmlPbgkRlXGHUM4FYVK7kRC-5KO75aKRy9F2b3A#4feba19d404a

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kevinbrink

And just to correct my point above, I've also bought a few bottles of non single malt Japanese Rice whiskies from Ohishi and Fukano which are categorically not similar to scotch in the least. 

Edited by kevinbrink

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Kane

@kevinbrink's answer is awesome. But I'll chime in with my version, too:

5 hours ago, PaulO said:

Are these very different from Scotch?

No.

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NightCru

I don’t think the Nikka Coffey whiskys are at all scotch like.  They are much closer to bourbon than scotch.  

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tanstaafl2
27 minutes ago, NightCru said:

I don’t think the Nikka Coffey whiskys are at all scotch like.  They are much closer to bourbon than scotch.  

The grain is perhaps a bit more "bourbon-y" but the malt taste more like scotch or Irish malt whisky to me.

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DeepCover
On 2/26/2019 at 2:50 PM, kevinbrink said:

And just to correct my point above, I've also bought a few bottles of non single malt Japanese Rice whiskies from Ohishi and Fukano which are categorically not similar to scotch in the least. 

What are your thoughts on the Japanese rice whisky offerings? I’ve tried the Fukano NAS sherry cask. I thought it was decent. I’d really like to try the Fukano 14 (not one of their sherry cask offerings) for comparison.

 

My local LS has the 16 year sherry and the 2 standard NAS offerings from Fukano. I haven’t delved into the Ohishi offerings at all (yet).

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kevinbrink
2 minutes ago, DeepCover said:

What are your thoughts on the Japanese rice whisky offerings? I’ve tried the Fukano NAS sherry cask. I thought it was decent. I’d really like to try the Fukano 14 (not one of their sherry cask offerings) for comparison.

 

My local LS has the 16 year sherry and the 2 standard NAS offerings from Fukano. I haven’t delved into the Ohishi offerings at all (yet).

I've only had the core NAS releases from both, my guess is someone else here has delved deeper though. I've enjoyed the Ohishi and Fukano releases I've had.

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smokinjoe

PSA:  If you are ever in Tokyo and asked if you would like a Fukano by the bartender. The proper gaijin response to get it on the house is, “Fuckin-A!”, along with thumbs up sign... :D

 

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The Black Tot

There are WAY cheaper ways in the Scotch world to get flavors of this type.

 

But...you know, you get to look all international and stuff.

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DeepCover
On 9/27/2019 at 7:29 PM, The Black Tot said:

There are WAY cheaper ways in the Scotch world to get flavors of this type.

 

But...you know, you get to look all international and stuff.

This is really what i’m trying to figure out. Is a barrel aged rice whisky similar to scotch, Irish whiskey, bourbon, rye, none of the above? I don’t have enough experience with rice whisky to know. I’ve enjoyed branching out from bourbon/rye quite a bit, but with the high price of Fukano and Ohishi, I was looking for some opinions and guidance before springing for a bottle.

 

It’s not going to end my world if I just bite the bullet and spend $150 on a bottle and try it myself, but I do appreciate the experience and opinions on this board.

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The Black Tot
1 hour ago, DeepCover said:

This is really what i’m trying to figure out. Is a barrel aged rice whisky similar to scotch, Irish whiskey, bourbon, rye, none of the above? I don’t have enough experience with rice whisky to know. I’ve enjoyed branching out from bourbon/rye quite a bit, but with the high price of Fukano and Ohishi, I was looking for some opinions and guidance before springing for a bottle.

 

It’s not going to end my world if I just bite the bullet and spend $150 on a bottle and try it myself, but I do appreciate the experience and opinions on this board.

For what it's worth, my comment above does not refer to rice whisky. I was talking about Japanese malts.

 

Having said that, if someone is now charging 150 bucks for rice whisky I would say two things:

 

1. We are not headed for a Japanese rice shortage.

2. This is a crazy whisky bubble price for a product that was nearly "the last to rise", and it will be among the first to fall when the bubble bursts. Even if you want to try it, you should wait a few years until it's back to $50. Or less.

3.  Just because $150 isn't a problem for you (and I am happy to read that it isn't) does not mean this isn't still a waste of money.

4. Go and get a $40 bottle of RR10 and have a great week.

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DeepCover

Sorry @The Black Tot, I was clearly (incorrectly) making the assumption you were referring to the last 3 posts in the thread.

 

I agree with you on Japanese single malts. It’s okay, but I can get Scotch any day of the week that delivers better value. I don’t own a single bottle of Japanese whiskey, but I did admittedly give it a fair shot. 

 

Points taken on the rice whisky front. I’m still undecided, but your points are all certainly valid.

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JvW

I saw 4 Yamazaki 12s on a shelf in New Orleans yesterday ($119.99/each)...surprised to see that many in one store.

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Kane

I'm surprised I don't see shelves 5 deep at that price, but then I leave my happy place and return to reality.

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The Black Tot
8 hours ago, JvW said:

I saw 4 Yamazaki 12s on a shelf in New Orleans yesterday ($119.99/each)...surprised to see that many in one store.

6 years ago those were $50.

 

Just for those who don't know that. And at $50, they were great value.

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EarthQuake

Since a couple others have mentioned rice whiseky: Ohishi is pretty good - especially this single cask sherry that I got for $60-70 or so. The standard batched sherry cask isn't much to write home about, but the single cask is. Maybe it was just a good barrel, I don't know. It tastes like a a leather shoe cobbler in a musty rackhouse filled with sherry barrels. I don't think it fits neatly into Irish, Scotch or American whiskey styles, it's its own weird thing.

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parksmart

Nikka suspending age statements of their Pure Malt portfolio means continued upward trajectory of prices in the secondary market......😐😐😐

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Marekv8
2 hours ago, parksmart said:

Nikka suspending age statements of their Pure Malt portfolio means continued upward trajectory of prices in the secondary market......😐😐😐

 

Probably a result of my recent Ben Nevis bonanza-- sorry.

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