Japanese Whisky

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Sandy, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    I've noticed every now and again, how Aussies will often buy some scotch whisky duty free, so they can drink it while skiing/snowboarding in Japan.....

    However, many people know that it's a waste of time, as it's often just cheaper in the supermarket in Japan!!!! A few of them know that a lot of Japanese whisky is good, but even less know that some Japanese whisky is extremely good!!!!

    From Wikipedia:
    "The model for Japanese whiskies is the single malt Scotch, although there are also examples of Japanese blended whiskies. The base is a mash of malted barley, dried in kilns fired with a little peat (although considerably less than in Scotland), and distilled using the pot still method. For some time exports of Japanese whisky suffered from the belief in the West that whisky made in the Scotch style, but not produced in Scotland, was inferior, and until fairly recently, the market for Japanese whiskies was almost entirely domestic. In recent years, Japanese whiskies have won prestigious international awards and now enjoy a reputation as a high quality product."​


    Here is an Aussie site dedicated to Japanese Whisky.
    http://nonjatta.blogspot.com.au/
    Here is the intro:
    Japan is the second biggest producer of single malt whisky in the world.
    It has been taking top prizes in international tastings since 2001. At the 2008 World Whisky Awards, Japan underlined its arrival on the world scene by scooping both of the top prizes - the best single malt whisky in the world and the best blended whisky in the world. In the 2011 and 2012 awards, it did the same, again leaving the best distilleries from the rest of the world to scrabble for the minor prizes.​

    Another good site:
    http://www.japanesewhisky.net/japanese-whisky-distilleries.html


    The thing is, those in the know will still only buy the well known ones, such as Yoichi 10yo or 12yo, I guess because they're not sure what else to buy. As a general rule of thumb a lot of people buy Scotch by price in a duty free(if they don't know their whisky), but in Japan this is not necessarily a good indicator of quality. e.g. A relatively rare but unknown Japanese whisky may be cheap because it is relatively rare & unknown!!!!!!
    For example, there is distillery in Nagano Prefecture, that restarted production in 2011, called Shinshu Mars Distillery. It's located in Miyata village, near the town of Komagane, but 30km from Suwa on the Chuo expressway. They've just started selling whisky recently, and you can get 750ml bottles of "Mars Iwai Tradition Wine cask finish" for 2000 yen, and there's a production only 2495 bottles!!!! The strange name is because they are finished for the last year in ex red wine casks!!!
    Japanese whisky matures more quickly and scotch whisky, because there is a larger variation in temperature in Japan.



    My brother is an absolute connoisseur of whisky, and if you take a look around his place, he has around 200 bottles!!!!

    Every now and again at my place in Japan, a courier turns up, and I sign for it..... It turns out to be a bottle of whisky that my brother has ordered and had sent to my, because you just can't get them in Australia or get them sent there from Japan. (or else you pay through the nose with one place that sells Japanese Whisky, I tink from Adelaide)

    I have 3 bottles sitting in my cupboard waiting to be taken back to Australia, the next time I visit in August!!!! [​IMG]

    One is a cheap (1500yen) bottle called "White Oak, Single malt Akashi". The other two are:
    Suntory 'The Owner's Cask' 1995, bottle 55 of 174, single cask whisky
    Chichibu Distillery "Ichiro's Malt Port Pipe" 1999, 61% by vol. Single malt.

    Not sure how much the last two were, but the Owner's cask looks expensive!!!!
     
    #1 Sandy, Jun 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
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  2. dawooduck

    dawooduck Pool Room
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    I concur. I grabbed a bottle of Hibiki 17 for my best man on the way back from Nozawa.

    For a bloke that spends half his life on business travel he was most impressed.
     
  3. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    I have a nice bottle of Nikka whiskey I polished off that my brother brought back for me, it's very very good. They make some excellent whiskey for truly reasonable prices over there. Nothing like a nice single malt sitting on your balcony after a hard days skiing in Japan.
     
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  4. rukva

    rukva Dedicated Member

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    I have a bottle of Suntory Whisky ROYAL my son bought back for me, un opened but I just might crack it when he's back in August and have a session...... Not sure if it's any good though
     
  5. rukva

    rukva Dedicated Member

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    Oh and Sandy you are right, we did the duty free stuff in our early days but never since... Always buys our stuff in the shops in Japan......
    I am not sure how they work out the tax on alcohol but just take the simple case of JW red about $15 or so yet a can of 500ml beer is about $2.50-$3.00......
     
  6. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    Wot is this beer? Chu Hi or nothing.
     
  7. JA2340

    JA2340 Part of the Furniture
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    Yep, the only duty free we buy is on the way OUT of Japan - or at Aus airport on the way out (to be held until we return), because the suupa prices are just so much better for drinking while there. And, some specialty booze shops have even better prices for some quite nice kit - just have top be lucky!
     
  8. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

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    I quite like the black clear whisky. At 3,650 yen for 4 litres its dirt cheap too.
     
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  9. ausi ski bum

    ausi ski bum Addicted Member

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    I am quite fond of Nikka Malt, or is it Nikki anyway its about 15 to 20AU for a bottle, square in shape, and it fits nicel in my ski boots where I have one in each every time I return home. I tried Black in Hokkaido and its rocket fuel, nothing we did to that stuff made it drinkable so there is both ends of the scale there. We did have one very special and expensive whisky at the bar at Oshigakogen Hotel that was Japanese but I cant recal its name.

    I agree though don't waste your time buying duty free when going into Japan, its cheaper from Sicomart an 711. If your in Niseko, Value Mart in Kutchen is a lot cheaper than any outlet in Niseko area.
     
  10. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    So that's about 685 yen per 750ml [​IMG] ... must be good!!!!
     
    #10 Sandy, Jun 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  11. Libelle

    Libelle Active Member

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    Suntory Old, couple of bottles each trip.
     
  12. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture
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    We ordered ourselves 7 x 500 yen whiskies after one of our dinners.
    7 x 500ml bottles arrived at the table.
    $35 and half an hour later, 7 people were munted. It was chilled, so it went down way too easily.
     
  13. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    JIN-RO!
     
    #13 Vermillion, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  14. Junior

    Junior Active Member

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    Good post, will have to check out some more Japanese whiskey.

    I couldn't go past the incredibly low pricing for Scotch single malts... AUD $30 for one of my favourites Laphroaig Quarter Cask. The stuff sells for $100 a bottle in Aus!
     
  15. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    Don't mind the occasional whisky. Japanese friends/family sometimes give me a bottle as omiyage but takes awhile to get through it. However, like Verm, I live and die as a chu-hai/shochu man
     
    #15 M_G, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
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  16. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    Lemon Suntory Strong Zero - I am missing them so badly. If only someone could bring a slab over for me...
     
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  17. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    At 178 yen its obscene

    [​IMG]
     
    #17 Donza, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  18. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    178yen bro you are getting ripped off, MaxValu sells for 160.
     
  19. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    maybe it was 160
     
  20. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    160yen for 500ml of 8%, it's almost cheaper than water. Actually, how much was a can of ice from the vending machine again?
     
  21. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    can't say ive ever bought water in japan..
    aquarius is the bomb
     
  22. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Sure works for me also. Otherwise a bottle of Shochu and some mixers. Cheap as.
    Not really a whisky drinker.
     
    #22 Heinz, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  23. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Water. Out of the tap works for me in japan (not in onsen though).

    Aquarius is good after an Onsen and you can't go past a "Pocari sweat".
     
    #23 Heinz, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  24. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    #24 M_G, Jun 11, 2013
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  25. DeskRider

    DeskRider Dedicated Member
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    Some really tasty Japanese whiskeys.. Cracked this one, from the Kirin Mt Fuji distillery, with the old man a few weeks back - beautiful.

    [​IMG]
     
    #25 DeskRider, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  26. weerab

    weerab Dedicated Member
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    I work for an Aussie bev company now owned by Asahi and we are going to be distributing their Nikka whiskey, must give it a try. they are talking $100 per bottle.
     
  27. Ralph_implement

    Ralph_implement Addicted Member

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    Can't beat Sochu.

    Pocari Sweat when your not having a drink.
     
  28. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

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    Dont knock it till you have tried it!
     
    #28 BobGnarly, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  29. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly Dedicated Member

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    shit yeah
     
    #29 BobGnarly, Jun 11, 2013
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  30. Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture
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    300 yen for a coke from a vending machine
    250 yen for a Chu-Hai from a vending machine

    Just as well I don't live in Japan, I would never be sober.
    Ever.
     
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  31. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    <span style="text-decoration: line-through">300</span> 150 yen for a coke from a vending machine
     
    #31 Sandy, Jun 11, 2013
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  32. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    And probably about $30 in Japan...... sound like a good lurk.
     
    #32 Sandy, Jun 11, 2013
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  33. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    I was about to say, I dont think anyone has ever paid 300yen for a coke from a vend in Japan.
     
    #33 Vermillion, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  34. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yeah 120 to 150 for coke.
     
  35. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    From udder thread (posted in wrong thread originally):

     
    #35 Vermillion, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  36. smackies

    smackies Addicted Member
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    I haven't really gotten into the whiskey because I am sake obsessed, but I did bring my dad back some Hakushu which seems to be enjoyed.

    Achievable goal for next trip I guess.
     
  37. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    I've seen a 500ml bottle of whisky in a vending machine in a small town down on the Miura peninsula, at the sea end of Tokyo bay!!!!!
     
  38. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    Whiskey or Sochu &gt; Sake.
     
    #38 Vermillion, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  39. smackies

    smackies Addicted Member
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    Hells. No. Plebeian.

    Reminded of this.

     
    #39 smackies, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2013
  40. M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member
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    When I lived down in a small town on the Japan Sea eons ago some vending machines used to dispense 1 &amp; 2 litre bottles of whisky, sake, etc. [​IMG]

    In that digital vending machine video it shows some women musicians in Ueno Park at the end. They must make a good living - I saw them there years ago.
     
    #40 M_G, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  41. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Sandy you noted that imported scotch is cheaper in supermarkets than duty free. Does this apply to all spirits inc vodka?
     
  42. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    hey mick
    bottle of stoli 700ml at 7/11.
    have seen for 820 yen.

    so yes
     
  43. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Stoli?? Puhlease...
    G. Goose or nothing pal.

    Based on those numbers though, I'd still expect to be kicking goals!
     
  44. smackies

    smackies Addicted Member
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    Goose was about $25-$30.
     
  45. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    So half what I'm paying at home. Win.

    Thanks guys, 'preciated!

    [​IMG]
     
    #45 mick chopps, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  46. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    frikken wanker
    [​IMG]
    yeah goose was 2620 yen when I bought a bottle
    Belverdere was 1900 yen
    TBH mate..if you like a good Vodka, you'll like a decent sho-chu as well.
     
    #46 Donza, Jun 12, 2013
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  47. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    Correct. What of it. [​IMG]

    sho-chu is definitely relative to my interests. That's what's in Chu Hai yeah?
     
    #47 mick chopps, Jun 12, 2013
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  48. smackies

    smackies Addicted Member
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    I'm a sucker for goose too, especially at that price.

    But not really necessary to enjoy a russian which is my beverage of choice after a litre or so of sake. [​IMG]
     
    #48 smackies, Jun 12, 2013
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  49. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yeah it is...though sometimes cheap Vodka as well
    Tbh its great cause its cheap, reliable and available everywhere.

    sho-chu is great mixed with stuff... its got a nice sweet palate..
     
  50. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room
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    So perfect with say soda water and a wedge of lime? [​IMG]
     
    #50 mick chopps, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013