Japanese whiskeys.

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TerminalGrin
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Japanese whiskeys.

Postby TerminalGrin » Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:38 am

I recently heard they took number one in Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible 2015. Being new to the world of finer whiskeys, I am curious- are they that good? Is it hard to get them in the States, and are they worth the price?

I would love to hear some feedback from those who have experienced them, and don't wanna base my entire opinion on what one book has to say. Would any of you be willing to share your thoughts on them with me?

Also, this is my first post, so I would be a whiskey noob really. I know my Jameson's, and I know my Bushmill's, but that's about it, so any feedback to help me expand my knowledge would be definitely appreciated.

Thank you for your time, and thank you for reading.

Best,
Christopher

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The Third Dram
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Re: Japanese whiskeys.

Postby The Third Dram » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:12 pm

Welcome, Christopher. :thumbsup:

I'm not 'tuned in' precisely to what Japanese whiskies are available in which specific segments of the U.S.A. marketplace, nor to exactly how much they might cost in said segments. However, I can say that Japanese whiskies available here in Canada tend to be (1) rather limited in variety and (2) relatively expensive when compared to American, Irish or Scotch whiskies of similar age/exclusivity.

That said (and even though my personal experience of them is somewhat limited), some Japanese whiskies are undeniably excellent. However, overall (and this is a very crude generalization), they tend to be more 'Scotch-like' in style than 'Irish-like'.

I'd recommend you visit a bar (hopefully local) that stocks a decent selection of Japanese whiskies and taste a few. You should be able to track down whiskies from Nikka and/or Yamazaki without too much difficulty.

TerminalGrin
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Re: Japanese whiskeys.

Postby TerminalGrin » Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:35 am

The Third Dram wrote:Welcome, Christopher. :thumbsup:

I'm not 'tuned in' precisely to what Japanese whiskies are available in which specific segments of the U.S.A. marketplace, nor to exactly how much they might cost in said segments. However, I can say that Japanese whiskies available here in Canada tend to be (1) rather limited in variety and (2) relatively expensive when compared to American, Irish or Scotch whiskies of similar age/exclusivity.

That said (and even though my personal experience of them is somewhat limited), some Japanese whiskies are undeniably excellent. However, overall (and this is a very crude generalization), they tend to be more 'Scotch-like' in style than 'Irish-like'.

I'd recommend you visit a bar (hopefully local) that stocks a decent selection of Japanese whiskies and taste a few. You should be able to track down whiskies from Nikka and/or Yamazaki without too much difficulty.


Our local bars aren't even quality enough to carry this sort of thing. Bushmill's Jameson's, GlennLivett, but that's about the extent. Maybe when I can get out of town next, I will ask for other users thoughts on good places to go (I stick to Seattle and Portland because they are both precisely 4 hours away from me.)

Thank you for the advice, and suggestions. Very much appreciated Good Sir. :)

TerminalGrin
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Re: Japanese whiskeys.

Postby TerminalGrin » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:20 am

Forgive my translation errors, but what did you mean?

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Muskrat Portage
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Re: Japanese whiskeys.

Postby Muskrat Portage » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:10 am

Christopher, if you go north some day to Victoria, the Regimental mess there has some pretty spectacular offerings as I understand. At some point I plan on returning to BC and going to visit, hopefully during their whisky celebration there. I suspect you could find a whisky or two from Japan there.
As well, The Feathers in Toronto Beaches area has a wide selection of whisky but again it requires travelling over the 49th. Most Canadian liquor store outlets will give you a sample for a modest fee. I have a few as well, but I'm in the wilderness and am very difficult to get to.
Good hunting.
Musky

TerminalGrin
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Re: Japanese whiskeys.

Postby TerminalGrin » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:31 am

If I ever find myself in Canada, I will definitely do some hunting.
Thanks for the input Good Sir. :)

JapanWhiskyGuy
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Re: Japanese whiskeys.

Postby JapanWhiskyGuy » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:57 pm

Hi Christopher

As The Third Dram has noted, Japanese whiskies tend more towards being more Scotch like than other forms of whisky.

When purchasing Japanese whiskies, one must determine if they are seeking a single malt or blended varieties.

Yamazaki and Hibiki tend to be the most popular with some of the other Suntory brands and Nikko behind them.

I have tried a variety of whiskies here from the regular Yamazaki, Yamazaki 12 & 18 yo, Hibiki 12 & 17 yo and Nikko and found all have their pluses and minuses.

One thing to remember about Japanese whiskies (other than the limited product 25-30+ yo aged products), they all tend to have little variation regardless of what year they were produced in. What I am talking about is that all 18 yo Yamazaki's are going to taste exactly the same regardless if it was produced in 1990 or 2000 due to the Japanese being very focused on precision and consistency.

I will say that there is a noticeable difference between younger whiskies and those that are aged from the same label such as a 12 yo vs 18 yo Yamazaki.

Finding even the basic products in North America can be a challenge as well as expensive (I have seen the 12 yo go for $1,500 USD), but most that are over 18 yo's are difficult to find even in Japan due to demand and low production.

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Re: Japanese whiskeys.

Postby Jdebly » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:18 am

There are Japanese whiskies that are indeed excellent. Hibiki 17, 21 and Yamazaki 18 are prime examples. The problem is availability. Hibiki is virtually unavailable in Canada and the USA (I had a connection in Japan). Yamazaki was around for a few years but lately I have not seen it.

And like everything else in this world there are some mediocre and pedestrian Japanese bottlings too.

man0fsteel
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Re: Japanese whiskeys.

Postby man0fsteel » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:27 am

Here in Los Angeles, Japanese Whiskys are quite readily available and much more reasonably priced than what I've read in this thread. Costco recently carried the Hibiki 21 and currently has a couple Nikka bottlings.

Sounds like we might be lucky here.

Notinumi8
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Re: Japanese whiskeys.

Postby Notinumi8 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:10 am

I'd like to help you. But I have never tasted it.


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