Japanese Whisky

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Once, all whisky connoisseurs deferred to Scotland, and although whisky was made elsewhere, it was considered a pale imitation. But over the last decade there has been a real growth in Asian whiskies, notably in Japan. A keen whisky-drinking nation, it has made the drink for almost a century. “In the 2000s, Japanese whiskies started winning awards and couldn’t be ignored any longer,” says Dominic Roskrow, author of Whisky Japan: The Essential Guide to the World’s Most Exotic Whisky. “Now Japan is one of the holy grails of whisky drinkers, with specialist bars and a real buzz with connoisseurs.” Although based on Scotch, one can find many styles, from plummy to peaty, floral to fragrant. People are discovering the differences and specifying Hakushu 12 Year Old or Yamazaki Bourbon Barrel. “The fact that Japanese whiskies are often made in small batches, and are often pricey, adds to their glamour,” says Roskrow. “It also means collectors are snapping them up, like the recent release of a Yamazaki single malt, matured in Scotland in Bowmore casks. It was my whisky of 2016.” yamazaki.com