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U.S. consumers pushing beyond sake to Japanese whiskies

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I've been hearing more and more good things about Japanese whiskey. Too bad it's so hard to find any in the area of the US that I live in.

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Japanese whiskey is okay, but not a touch on the "real" stuff. Especially the Scottish and Irish 25 year olds.

I find Japanese whisky just too sweet.

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I drank Suntory Old for awhile until I realized it tasted like cr@p. I hope it has improved. I've had a few Suntory whiskeys that were good since then but stick mostly to sake. Anyone ever have a good Japanese wine?

Also, why did AP and/or JapanToday use bit.ly to condense the very complicated Suntory url? http://www.suntory.co.jp (Japanese) or http://www.suntory.com (English)? Which is easier to remember the bit.ly or the real url? Since JT doesn't link, you need to remember urls.

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I seldom drink whiskey - but many judge the Japanese ones among the best (if not the best) in the world

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Yet another try from the big companies to make whiskey trendy again.. (remember the highball thing)

It is not going to happen.

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Highballs are popular now. Even my youngest coworker, a 23 year old lady, is drinking them.

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Japanese whiskey at the best is still just drinkable, but not so enjoyable. Maybe we have different tastes than Japanese customers but if they want to sell Whiskey abroad, they need to follow the taste of Scotch whiskey drinkers.

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I only use Japanese whiskey for my Irish Coffee.

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In 2008 a Japanese whisky came top in a blind tasting organised by Whisky magazine to be voted the best single malt in the world.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article3822531.ece

Yoichi 20 years old, which sells for £150 a bottle, was praised by the judges for its “amazing mix of big smoke and sweet blackcurrant”, “explosive aroma” and “big, long and sweet finish”.

But since I'm not prepared to pay 20,000 yen per bottle, I'll stick with Glen Livet or Glenfiddick for everyday drinking and treat myself to Bowmore at Hogmanay.

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And this article has exactly what to do with sake? Rick's bar doesn't seem to be selling it. The title implies that whiskey is outselling sake or that many sake drinkers are turning to whiskey. I

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Just one more thing for Americans to be pretentious about while mispronouncing the name "Yamazaki."

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@Tokyoapple

I second that. I also wish people would call it by it's proper name, "nihonshu". It's on the same level as calling Mt.Fuji "Fujiyama".

I know it's being picky, but still...

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@MrDog

I also wish people would call it by it's proper name, "nihonshu".

I hope you're careful to call whisky "uisge beatha", then :)

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Decades ago when i first came to Japan, i was culture-shocked to see young people drink whisky. in America, i thought of whisky as an older man's drink. Maybe because of the consumer group differences, suntory came up with this improved flavor.

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@kyushujoe

I hope you're careful to call whisky "uisge beatha", then :)

lol, thats actually the first time I've ever heard that. I'll make sure to use it from now on ;)

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I sent my grandfather some in Ireland. He's been drinking whiskey for more than 75 years and he said it's some of the best he's tasted, and so did some friends of his who tasted it with him. So there you have it. A lot of posters seem very negative about Japanese whiskey, and personally I don't drink whiskey at all. I think there's real potential for Japanese whiskey overseas... the only problem will be making it affordable in the EU with their horrendous taxes.

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The Yamazaki 12 year is pretty good, I quite like it. I first had it when I toured the distillery between Kyoto & Osaka about a month ago. The problem is the price; it isn"t worth the 7000 yen (or so) bottle. It's funny, I found a bottle of it in a liquor store in NYC last week...about $40, way cheaper than you can get it in Japan.

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Good god, why? Buy a bottle of Scotch instead.

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Young ones turn from Beer to Whisky or other liquors simple by the price. The price of Beer in Japan is way up high than Germany which have good Beers.

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nedinjapan at 12:03 PM JST - 16th August Japanese whiskey (sic) at the best is still just drinkable, but not so enjoyable. Maybe we have different tastes than Japanese customers but if they want to sell Whiskey (sic) abroad, they need to follow the taste of Scotch whiskey (sic) drinkers.

What a ridiculous thing to say. There is no such than as a singular style of whisky or a singular palate to please when it comes to whisky from. Some Scots prefer Highland single malts, others prefer blends and others will drink only Spey side.

Hibiki and Yamazaki are both fine whiskies, as are Marker's Mark, Beam Rye and Booker Noe from the U.S. My favorite Scottish whiskies remain Talisker and Laphroaig and Tullamore Dew for Irish. Canadian whiskies are too sweet for my tastes. Good whisky knows no nationality. It's simply a matter of a variety of flavors and styles.

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Some people obviously don't have a lot of respect for Japanese whiskeys. But just in the last couple of years I've seen more whiskey connoisseurs giving praise to Japanese whiskeys. Obviously some of the Japanese whiskeys are doing something right.

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I think a bunch of posters here are confusing WHAT whisky is being talked about in this article.

Clue to those not paying attn it ISNT the crap they sell in one litre+ sized plastic jugs, LOL educate yourselves folks

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GW at 06:50 AM JST - 17th August Clue to those not paying attn it ISNT the crap they sell in one litre+ sized plastic jugs, LOL educate yourselves folks

1 liter plastic jugs... I was blown away when I saw the 1 gallon (4 liter) jugs. I've been keeping an eye out for one of them in someone's shopping so I could ask them whether they buy them because they like buying in bulk to save or because they actually get through that much cheap whiskey in a month.. or perhaps there's some other reason?? Maybe it makes good drain cleaner?

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Expensive Japanese whiskies may be winning awards but the cheap ones taste like medicine. I much prefer Irish whiskey.

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I personally prefer Islay type single malt scotch whisky with a strong peat aroma THAT should taste like medicine.

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like Laphraig(sp)

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I agree completely with PleasureGelf.

I'll take 3 fingers of Bushmill's Black over any Japanese whiskey that I've tasted.

Taka

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Strictly from the health standpoint, you're better off with sake at around 30 proof than with whisky at 80+ proof. You can get stinking drunk on either, but sake will be easier on your insides than anything approaching germicidal concentrations of alcohol.

Distilled spirits ruined British working-class society in the mid 1700s. See "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gin_Craze" ... a good lesson for preferring lower-proof beverages, or at least putting some water in your whisky.

Party on dudes.

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For relaxing times, make it Suntory Times.

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The complementary bottle of Ballentine's at the Tokyo Hilton was always nice; but that was back before the economy tanked. There are plenty of good Japanese whiskys out there. Sake is quite nice too. I'm surprised that Japanese whisky is being imported to the US. I wonder if I'll see any on the shelves in Rochester. The article made the local paper....

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