Japan's whisky makers drum up global market for their drams

By Sophie Knight and Ritsuko Shimizu

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I will buy anything advertised by Bill Murray

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I will buy anything advertised by Bill Murray

Yeah! For relaxing times, make it Suntory time! But honestly, Japanese whiskeys are really worth their money. The whiskey lovers here in Europe who've never heard about them really loved them when I gave them a taste.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's about time!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yoichi single malt is my favorite. Only 1,500 yen a bottle! I always bring some back as "omiyagi," and it's well appreciated.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

sadly the cheapest bottle in Canada is 72 dollars, oh what a world.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's some really nice cheaper bottles out there.

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Suntory's Yamazaki distillery tour is great (halfway between Osaka and Kyoto) Non japanese speakers get an audio device to listen to while the japanese guide does his thing. A couple free tasting at the end of the free tour as well! The photo is of their reference library of whiskies they've made and experimented (saw juniper flavoured on one label) and of other brands

Nikka's tour in yiochi is not quite as well set up as Suntory's (and a bit out of the way) but you still get a few free tastings.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Psychopathsareincontrol (great name, that!), I completely agree about the Yamazaki tour. I was invited to one out of the blue by a Kyoto friend and we took the train up there. Even the walk from the station is part of the fun, because the distillery is in the middle of the countryside but still accessible. You will literally walk across the Kyoto-Osaka prefectural border on the way there.

We saw bottle No. 0001 from back in the 1920s and sampled all kinds of things; it was great. Purple-uniformed guides explained everything (and they must get light-headed from all the alcohol in the air).

It was great, and they made a lifelong Yamazaki fan out of me. You even get a mini-bottle of aged whisky to take back with you, which is worth 600 yen or so all by itself. Well worth the trip. If you're looking for something offbeat to do in rural Kyoto/Osaka, you can't beat this place!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Last year, Suntory stopped making its 10-year Yamazaki and Hakushu single malts and introduced “no age” versions instead. Nikka is expected to phase out its 12-year Taketsuru single malt after releasing a “no age” variety this year.

Very sad to hear the big Japanese distillers are doing this. Japanese aged single malts are very under-rated and well-priced - however "no-age" basically means even 3 year old blends will now be thrown into the mix. Enjoy the aged whiskies (and stock up) while they last, folks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


Slightly off topic but CC goes for about $10-$13/bottle here, back in Canada the taxes are bloody awful!! Single malt scotch is also about 1/3rd the cost back in Canada!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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