If you’re a whiskey fan, you’ve surely come across Japanese whiskey. And if you’ve ever wondered whether it’s worth drinking, I’m here to tell you it definitely is. In fact, some of the best whiskies out there are made in Japan! After trying out many brands at home and abroad (yes, really), we found that these five stood out above the rest:
Nikka Whiskey From the Barrel
Nikka Whiskey From the Barrel is a blend of malt and grain whiskeys that have been aged in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in ex-sherry casks. This gives it a rich, sweet caramel flavour. In fact, it was the easiest whisky to identify as japanese whiskey ireland out of all our contenders.
If you’re looking for something with more kick or spice, however, this might not be right for you (but please keep reading). It’s smooth enough to drink neat but still has some bite when mixed with water—a bit like a good scotch in that regard.
Hibiki Harmony Master’s Select
If you’re looking for something that’s as unique as it is smooth, Hibiki Harmony Master’s Select is the way to go. The blend of grain and malt whiskies is aged for a minimum of 12 years in oak casks before its release. The result? A rich and sweet flavor with notes of spice on the nose and palate. This whiskey has been awarded several gold medals at international competitions, including the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2005) and International Wine & Spirits Competition (2014).
Suntory Toki is a blended whiskey made up of 80% malt whisky and 20% grain whisky. It’s then aged for 10 years in bourbon barrels, which gives it a unique taste that makes it stand out from other popular Japanese whiskeys such as Hibiki, Yamazaki or Hakushu.
Unlike its competitors who focus on single malt whiskies, Suntory Toki has been the first to market with a blended whiskey and thus has become one of the most popular among Western drinkers (it was even voted “Best Blended Whisky in the World” by Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible).
Mars Iwai Tradition Blended Whisky
Mars Iwai Tradition Blended Whisky is a blend of malt and grain that’s aged in a combination of new and used casks. It’s rich and complex, with hints of smokey caramel and vanilla. “The nose smells like Scotch,” said one taster, while another noted its “sweet note.”
“It’s mellow,” commented another. “There’s something very pleasant about it.” One member described the whisky as having a “creamy mouthfeel”—a term I had never heard before but now wish I could use all the time—and said it was “mellow enough to drink neat.”
Nikka Coffey Grain
Nikka Coffey Grain is a blend of malt and grain whiskeys. The base whiskey for this blend is made from barley, which gives it a rich flavor that’s considered to be more complex than other types of whiskey. But what really sets Nikka Coffey apart from other blends is its sweetness.
This Japanese whiskey has a fruity taste with hints of vanilla, caramel and pineapple — not too sweet but sweet enough to enjoy on its own or in cocktails. It’s also noteworthy because it’s one of the few blended whiskeys available in America (most blended whiskeys are reserved for Europe).
Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky
You may have heard of Suntory, the Japanese whiskey that’s been around since 1899 and is the largest producer of whiskey in Japan. They’re also popular for their Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky, which has won many awards. But did you know that they make single grain whisky?
Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky is an award-winning Japanese single grain whisky with a taste similar to bourbon but with less harshness and body. It’s made from 100% malted barley and distilled in Chita, Japan, then aged for a minimum of three years before being blended with sherry casks to give it its rich amber color and smooth finish.
The best way to taste this great whisky if you’re not in Ireland (or any other country where they sell it) is through Suntory Reserve Collection 2015 – 12 Yr Old Whisky – Chita Eikan Mizunara Cask Finish:
The blend combines new American oak barrels (bourbon casks) with sherry-seasoned casks from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain (sherry butts). This gives each batch unique characteristics based on the amount of time spent aging first in one kind of cask before being transferred into another type.
These are the best Japanese whiskeys to drink and share with friends.
If you’re looking to try a new kind of whiskey, these are some of the best japanese whiskey ireland you can drink and share with friends. They’re also great for special occasions, or just when you want to treat yourself.
When it comes to whiskey, there’s no question that Japan makes some of the best. We hope this article has helped you decide which Japanese whiskey is right for you and your friends! Remember: as long as it tastes good and is made with pride, we’d love to sip on it.