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Thread: Recommend me a Japanese whisky

  1. #1
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Recommend me a Japanese whisky

    Love my Scotch and Irish but I've never tried Japanese.

    Can anyone recommend some good smooth Japanese whisky please?
    Last edited by Rocket Man; 28th November 2022 at 22:18.

  2. #2
    Master Wolfie's Avatar
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    I can only say Iíve tried this and itís ace

    Yamazaki Distillery Reserve Single Malt Whisky, 70cl https://amzn.eu/d/5g3zSiA

    Heard good things about this, but. Ever tried jr

    Nikka From The Barrel Blended Japanese Whisky, 50 cl https://amzn.eu/d/ehkTMIH

  3. #3
    Master Marios's Avatar
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    From what one can currently readily get, I would opt for the NAS Distiller Reserve, either Yamazaki or Hakushu.

  4. #4
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    Yamazaki 12 has become a staple in my Whisky diet. Another vote for Nikka too.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
    I can only say Iíve tried this and itís ace

    Yamazaki Distillery Reserve Single Malt Whisky, 70cl https://amzn.eu/d/5g3zSiA

    Heard good things about this, but. Ever tried jr

    Nikka From The Barrel Blended Japanese Whisky, 50 cl https://amzn.eu/d/ehkTMIH
    Nikka from the barrel is Scotch labelled as Japanese under their very lax laws, which will thankfully change soon

  6. #6
    Waitrose offer a few to choose from.

    Iíve had Nikka from the Barrel, and also Yamasaki. Yamasaki seems less available from the mainstream retailers than the last time I looked. Amazon has it for a decent price.

    Nikka FTB is 51% so not for the faint hearted. You can taste the alcohol increase.

    I enjoyed both. Yamasaki if I had the choice again as it was less alcohol, more flavour, in my limited experience.

  7. #7
    Master Wolfie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanBear View Post
    Nikka from the barrel is Scotch labelled as Japanese under their very lax laws, which will thankfully change soon
    Nikka isnít Japanese? Iíve never tried it, just had it as a recommendation

  8. #8
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Somebody has to.




    I had a bottle once but didn't think much to it.
    Last edited by Mr Curta; 28th November 2022 at 22:05.
    Don't just do something, sit there. - TNH

  9. #9
    Interested in this too. I went to Japan a couple of years ago and wanted to get a watch, knife, and whiskey. Got the first two but left the last to the airport and there was very little there except for Scotch.

    Any views on Hibiki?

  10. #10
    This is one of the nicest whiskies Iíve tried (and Iíve had a few ):

    I

  11. #11
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Thanks, I knew that TZ would be able to help with this one!

    Is there some kind of shortage right now?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by IanBear View Post
    Nikka from the barrel is Scotch labelled as Japanese under their very lax laws, which will thankfully change soon
    I thought that particular bottling is a genuine Japanese spirit rather than a Scottish one? In fact, I could have sworn it's Japanese. Regardless, I quite enjoy it personally, in fact I was drinking it in a local bar only a couple of nights ago!

    OP - Suntory's Toki (Toki is translated as "time") is only good enough for mixing/cocktails, I'd avoid it neat. Other than that my only experience with the few Japanese whiskies I've tried are £70 upwards, of which Hibiki's Harmony was decent. If you have the £££ then Yamazaki's 18 is one of the best whiskies I've ever had.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    Somebody has to.




    I had a bottle once but didn't think much to it.
    My all time favourite film, that.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
    Nikka isnít Japanese? Iíve never tried it, just had it as a recommendation
    Nikka is a Japanese brand with their own Japanese distilleries however not all Japanese branded whisky is Japanese, some of it is actually Scottish. As IB has mentioned, plans are afoot to address particular marketing issues.

  15. #15
    Master Wolfie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardShark View Post
    Nikka is a Japanese brand with their own Japanese distilleries however not all Japanese branded whisky is Japanese, some of it is actually Scottish. As IB has mentioned, plans are afoot to address particular marketing issues.
    That feels very disingenuousÖ

  16. #16
    Craftsman
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    +1 for nikka from the barrel even with the above.
    Tokiís good with soda
    Akashi (bit reminiscent of macallan fine oak perhaps)
    Chita single grain and togouchi both very good. Chita perhaps most quaffable of the bunch ..
    al


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardShark View Post
    My all time favourite film, that.
    As a japanophile its fantastic, also for anyone who travels a log with work.

    Yamazaki is a fave for the FIL, I would rather have ybisiu premium and some iron hearts

  18. #18
    Just had a very quick Google ref Nikka WFTB and it does appear to be part Scottish in content, the single article I've read stating that some of the distalate is from the Nikka owned Ben Nevis distillery. I knew Ben Nevis was owned by Nikka and that it's used in some Japanese whiskies however not that particular one.

    If you were to read MoM's write-up it would be easy to presume it's only Japanese content - https://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskie...barrel-whisky/

  19. #19
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  20. #20
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  21. #21
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Just a bit of fun no. 2 -





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  22. #22
    Master
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    Those clips are ace

  23. #23
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardShark View Post
    Just had a very quick Google ref Nikka WFTB and it does appear to be part Scottish in content, the single article I've read stating that some of the distalate is from the Nikka owned Ben Nevis distillery. I knew Ben Nevis was owned by Nikka and that it's used in some Japanese whiskies however not that particular one.

    If you were to read MoM's write-up it would be easy to presume it's only Japanese content - https://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskie...barrel-whisky/


    As above, my understanding is that NFTB is part-Japanese and part Scottish spirits.

    I've been buying From The Barrel for a number of years (anyone remember the ultra-cool origami-style packaging it used to come boxed in?) and interestingly I bought another bottle a couple of weeks ago and my immediate impression was they've changed the blend - I got a distinct sense of peat which it never used to have..

  24. #24
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardShark View Post
    Just had a very quick Google ref Nikka WFTB and it does appear to be part Scottish in content, the single article I've read stating that some of the distalate is from the Nikka owned Ben Nevis distillery. I knew Ben Nevis was owned by Nikka and that it's used in some Japanese whiskies however not that particular one.

    If you were to read MoM's write-up it would be easy to presume it's only Japanese content - https://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskie...barrel-whisky/
    This is absolutely correct

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by gcleminson View Post
    As above, my understanding is that NFTB is part-Japanese and part Scottish spirits.

    I've been buying From The Barrel for a number of years (anyone remember the ultra-cool origami-style packaging it used to come boxed in?) and interestingly I bought another bottle a couple of weeks ago and my immediate impression was they've changed the blend - I got a distinct sense of peat which it never used to have..
    A lot of Ben Nevis is now peated... so don't think that means it is more Japanese!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Thanks, I knew that TZ would be able to help with this one!

    Is there some kind of shortage right now?
    Yes and there has been for the best part of a decade, and will take at least another 5 years to move out from

  26. #26
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack83 View Post
    Interested in this too. I went to Japan a couple of years ago and wanted to get a watch, knife, and whiskey. Got the first two but left the last to the airport and there was very little there except for Scotch.

    Any views on Hibiki?
    Avoid the basic Harmony; either get the Master Harmony from the airport (excellent for the £65-ish RRP) or good luck finding the 12,18 or 21 without paying many hundreds of pounds, assuming you can find them at all!

  27. #27
    Master
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    Currently got Nikka FTB, Hibiki and Chita in my cabinet. Out of those 3, Iíd have to say Chita is the one I prefer.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by IanBear View Post
    Avoid the basic Harmony; either get the Master Harmony from the airport (excellent for the £65-ish RRP) or good luck finding the 12,18 or 21 without paying many hundreds of pounds, assuming you can find them at all!
    The standard Harmony is about £70 retail, so I imagine the Master's Select would be substantially more even at RRP, given it's trying to be an upgraded Harmony?

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    Somebody has to.




    I had a bottle once but didn't think much to it.
    I came here for this. I thank you.

  30. #30
    Master
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    Hibiki is/was nice but the price has gone stratospheric in recent years and it's now lost its age statement, so I haven't tasted it in a while.

  31. #31
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt8500 View Post
    This is one of the nicest whiskies Iíve tried (and Iíve had a few ):

    I [IMG][/IMG]
    I'm far from an expert on Japanese whiskey, but I really enjoyed that one.

  32. #32
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    The standard Harmony is about £70 retail, so I imagine the Master's Select would be substantially more even at RRP, given it's trying to be an upgraded Harmony?
    World Duty Free website says £67.50 and you can get as much as 12% off with a Dufry appÖ

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by IanBear View Post
    World Duty Free website says £67.50 and you can get as much as 12% off with a Dufry appÖ
    So it is! Being a travel exclusive I'm always suspicious why they're there and not also more widely available, other than for marketing purposes.

    I'll try and get a bottle to compare with my standard Harmony.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    So it is! Being a travel exclusive I'm always suspicious why they're there and not also more widely available, other than for marketing purposes.
    "Travel exclusive" plus "Master's Select" doesn't read very well to me at all! Both make my teeth itch.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardShark View Post
    "Travel exclusive" plus "Master's Select" doesn't read very well to me at all! Both make my teeth itch.
    Normally I would completely agree with you, but in this case I genuinely feel itís the best value actual Japanese whisky out there.

    If you want proper honesty; Japanese whisky due to hype and scarcity is priced way beyond its current quality. Unless you absolutely must have some, stick with Scotch, Irish or American

  36. #36
    Master
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    Yamazaki 12 year is lovely but has gone up in price recently.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by IanBear View Post
    If you want proper honesty; Japanese whisky due to hype and scarcity is priced way beyond its current quality. Unless you absolutely must have some, stick with Scotch, Irish or American
    I'm 100% with this too - it's very much artificially inflated at the moment.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by IanBear View Post
    Normally I would completely agree with you, but in this case I genuinely feel itís the best value actual Japanese whisky out there.

    If you want proper honesty; Japanese whisky due to hype and scarcity is priced way beyond its current quality. Unless you absolutely must have some, stick with Scotch, Irish or American
    I went to a whisky expert recently to buy a bottle for a friend. I'd entirely fallen for the Japanese hype and intended to go for some.
    The guy there said, in quality terms, that Japanese is expensive for what you get. He could sell me something far better from Scotland or Ireland for less money or something stratospherically better (his actual words) for the same money as some of the more expensive Japanese. He did himself out of some cash by selling me some Scotch which my pal, who knows his stuff, absolutely loved.
    Annoyingly I can't remember what it was called as Whisky isn't really my thing but it was a win win all round.

  39. #39
    Master dice's Avatar
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    Not surprised to see Yamasaki and Nikka mentioned a couple times in this thread. Yamasaki was lovely when I tried it some years back, althought I can't quite recall the tones I got from it. I do remember Nikka was an excellent nightcap and would put me straight in the mood for a long sleep after a dram.

  40. #40
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    I’ve enjoyed Hibiki in the past (the good old days, had a sub-£100 bottle of Hibiki 17 years ago, was very very good) and still find it good, albeit pricey.

    Currently I have a Yamazaki 12, Ichiro’s Malt MWR and Nikka Coffey Grain on the go, and recommend them all. The Coffey Grain strikes me as especially good value and (to me at least) is quite distinctively different. It’s corn based though so if you’re a single malt man it might not work for you.

    Edited to add that I know very little about what constitutes “good” whisky. The above is just what I like. :-)

  41. #41
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanBear View Post
    Normally I would completely agree with you, but in this case I genuinely feel itís the best value actual Japanese whisky out there.

    If you want proper honesty; Japanese whisky due to hype and scarcity is priced way beyond its current quality. Unless you absolutely must have some, stick with Scotch, Irish or American
    Thanks, this seems like sound advice.

    Are there any scotch, Irish or American whisky bottles you could recommend for under £100 please?

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    Thanks, this seems like sound advice.

    Are there any scotch, Irish or American whisky bottles you could recommend for under £100 please?
    Do you have a favoured cask/style? There are bottles aplenty up to that £.

  43. #43
    Grand Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    If the country has an E in its name itís whiskey. Otherwise itís whisky.

  44. #44
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Canada will be honoured
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  45. #45
    Grand Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Canada will be honoured
    Correct. They spell it whisky

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