Enjoying Japanese whisky is easy if you can get your hands on a bottle. It’s rapidly becoming more popular, but is still much rarer than its Scottish friend, Scotch whisky. (And do take note, the missing “e” in the Japanese “whisky” is the correct spelling, which one of its many similarities to Scotch whisky.) Let’s explore a few tips for enjoying Japanese whisky and its many delectable traits.
What is Japanese Whisky?
We are creatures of habit, so it’s only normal to think that whiskeys come from Tennessee, Ireland, and Scotland. After that, can it really be a whiskey? Thanks to Masataka Taketsuru, who fell in love with Scotch when visiting Scotland from Japan in 1918, it certainly can.
Because of the way Japanese whisky was discovered, it has all the beauty of Scotch but with milder notes. It’s prepared with malted barley which has often been peated and brought over from Scotland, mashed, and then distilled twice—just like Scotch.
However, don’t confuse Japanese whisky with Scotch. It is its own drink. Although it’s been greatly influenced by Scotch whisky, Japanese whisky has been masterfully varied to appeal to Japanese taste.
Enjoying Japanese Whisky
As with any fine sprit, it’s recommended that Japanese whisky first be tasted neat, and then with the addition of the perfect round ice ball for slow dilution. The ice ball slowly opens up the layers of notes to tantalize all your senses. And tantalize it will.
Cinnamon, citrus, and even coconut are common notes found in these exotic whiskys, either through their aroma or taste. Scotch lovers won’t be disappointed as most Japanese whisky gives that smokey peat flavor many enjoy.
If possible, search for Japanese whisky drinking glasses. Designed in Japan, they’re lovely, unique, and not your typical whiskey glass. The Japanese view this gesture as honorable when others serve their whisky in the appropriate glassware.
In conclusion, Japanese whisky is not Scotch, nor is it a traditional whiskey with an “e”. It is of its own descent with a loving influence from Scotland. Expand your horizons and begin enjoying Japanese whisky along with its beautiful heritage and subtle nuances.
VS Liquor specializes in rare liquor, including Japanese whisky and many difficult-to-find spirits.