Highly sought after outside Japan, Japanese whisky is known for its experimental approach and premium quality, distilled from a mash of malted barley and the purest local waters. Sourced from fresh mountain reserves or low-lying natural springs, Japanese whisky is barrel-aged for a minimum of three years and only made in Japan. A sophisticated drink that’s astonishingly affordable, Japan has put its own proud spin on Scottish whisky since its production began in Japan in 1870. Yamazaki was Japan’s first commercial distillery which opened in 1927, owned by Osaka Prefecture’s Japanese liquor giant, Suntory. Suntory’s famous whisky is rivaled by Hokkaido’s Nikka whisky, and the two giants have a long-running battle for nation-wide whisky glory.
Meanwhile, other smaller distilleries throughout Japan also produce high-quality single malt whiskies in a range of unique styles and flavors. When it comes to fermentation and blending, Japanese distilleries typically blend different varieties in-house, a system used to create a broader range of products rather than a single signature whisky. High-proof and high-quality, order a mizuwari (two parts water to one part whisky), a classic highball (whisky and sparkling soda), or enjoy whisky on the rocks. Explore a whisky distillery during a tasting experience and compare different barrels and styles, or clink whisky glasses with new friends at an izakaya pub crawl. Check out our Japanese whisky experiences to discover Japan’s finest locally-made liquors.