Today we will begin a 4-part series on Japanese Whisky. Tanoshī (Enjoy!)
If you enjoy Scotch, its highly likely Japanese Whisky will be to your liking as well. Why? Well, for starters, the Japanese learned how to make whisky from the Scots. More on that in tomorrow’s shot! Second, is they taste similar. When sampling the two national spirits, its evident there are common flavor profiles. Finally, blending whiskies is a common practice, and most popular amongst consumers, for both countries.
Although the world of Japanese Whisky is a bit of a Royal Rumble free-for-all. Unlike other major-market producers, there are loose restrictions on this spirits classification. For example, distilleries can source product from other countries. It’s possible to have product from Scotland to end up as part of a finished Japanese whisky! This is a helpful practice for distilleries to supplement aging inventory to support demand.
Unlike the Scots, the Japanese distilleries are quite territorial about its whisky. In Scotland its common practice to share whisky with other distilleries to achieve a desired flavor profile. Sharing is no bueno Japan. Competition is fierce and only the strongest survive. Rather than try to befriend one another it apparently makes more sense to purchase whisky from half-way around the world. Much to the chagrin of Scot distilleries!
How do the Japanese prefer their whisky? A wildly refreshing product unique to Japan is the highball: a canned blended whisky mixed with soda water. A great beer alternative. In fact, the highball became such a hit over the past decade, it caused a decline in the Japanese beer market!
Boom! Another shot of knowledge!