A Look Back
Some of these were released just last year so are perfect for indulging in the exciting new things coming from Japan. Others are a bit older and really capture the excellent whiskies produced in the country.
1. Suntory Ao World Blend
Bottle cost: £153.99
Made from malt from five different countries, including Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and America, the Ao World Blend is a brilliant dram. Each malt used is part of the wider Beam Suntory family. The bend is largely fruity in flavour profile, with notes of wood, spice and hints of smoke. The blend is really interesting and worth purchasing just to experience.
2. Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Blended Japanese Whisky Limited Edition 2019
Bottle cost: £2694.23
Ichiro’s is quickly becoming the most sought after brand of Japanese whisky. Their Malt & Grain blends have won World’s Best Blended Limited Release two years in a row at the World Whisky Awards. The blends are made using single malt from Chichibu and grains sourced from around Japan. This is not a dram to miss.
3. Hibiki 17 Year Old
Bottle cost: £145.79
An honorary mention has to go to Hibiki 17 Year Old, which was discontinued in 2019 due to shortages of Japanese whisky. The blend was well loved by critics and customers and it is only a sign of the success of Japanese whisky that the blend had to be discontinued. Hopefully, someday we will get it back, but until then, we have some excellent Japanese malts and non age statemented whisky to try!
4. Nikka Tailored
Bottle cost: £153.99
And one of the non age statemented malts is Nikka Tailored.This was released in 2019 after the Nikka 12, much like Hibiki 17 were discontinued. It is made from malt and grains whiskies from Nikka’s Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. The whisky itself is simply brilliant, with lots of floral notes, sweet caramel and vanilla and a lovely smooth grain flavour.
5. Highball Cans
The Highball is perhaps the most famous and well loved cocktail in Japan. It plays a huge part in Japanese drinking culture with Highball bars being very popular. And now we have the Highball in a can. This is a really exciting step for Japanese whisky creators as they look at how to bring the mastery of Japanese distilling and cocktail making to the masses. It might seem like your typical cocktail in a tin that you can get from anywhere and that have become hugely popular over the last couple of years, but with high end names like Suntory getting in on the trend, these canned Highballs certainly stand out for their quality.