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Japanese Whisky

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

  1. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Yeps
    Or you can be like my wife
    and use sho-chu as a mixer for chu-hi.
    5% wasn't cutting it...lets make it %15

    Gee that night ended well.
     
  2. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds like a Scand ploy... Will investigate.
     
    #52 mick chopps, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  3. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Bro i'm sorry
    The scand dream is over.
    Perhaps the worst female skiier peeps on earth (with a couple of exceptions)
     
    piolet likes this.
  4. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I thought he was talking about the blokes?

    PS Donna who buys the 5% chu hai?
     
  5. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Clearly been rejected.
     
    #55 mick chopps, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  6. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Was before 8%...circa 2005
     
    #56 Donza, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  7. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    To be honest they can't be worse than the tall tee/hoodie, baggy jean, skate shoe waring style challenged scene twits I met last year at Hotham...

    Flogs, every single one of em!
     
    #57 mick chopps, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  8. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Perhaps Japan is not for you my friend.
     
  9. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can only get 5% here in AUS. It makes me sad. I am almost out of duty-free sochu too [​IMG]
     
    #59 Vermillion, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  10. mick chopps

    mick chopps Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh really?
     
    #60 mick chopps, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  11. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    I am not a scotch drinker but when in Japan I drink the Yamazaki, why? Because any time is Suntory time.
     
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  12. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  13. K@os

    K@os A Local

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    #63 K@os, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  14. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok from that site, the "Nikka from the Barrel" is just over $47 (not including shipping I guess)

    It's costs about 1800 yen here in Japan


    [​IMG]


    And a 10 yo Yoichi ($97) you can find everywhere for less than 5000 yen.
     
    #64 Sandy, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  15. JapanPowder

    JapanPowder First Runs

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    I am planning to head to Nikka Distillery for a visit in Hokkaido over the coming weeks. I love Single Malt Yoichi. Have a look at some of the awards they have won at Nikka - http://www.nikka.com/eng/award/index.html
     
    #65 JapanPowder, Aug 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  16. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Finally, it seems that the Japanese have discovered their own whisky, prices for good bottlings have risen & they are much more difficult to find!!!!
     
  17. churchy

    churchy One of Us

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    One of the rarer Suntory Yamazaki offerings was awarded whisky of the year a few months ago so there was a run on it and all things similar.

    FWIW, that nikka referenced above, even at $50+ in Dan Murphys represents great value for a very drinkable, sweet blend.
     
  18. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don Quixote stocks a lot of good whiskey at really good prices still @Sandy .
     
  19. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, but not the rarer stuff. I usually look in Hasegawa (underground near Tokyo Station), Shinanoya, and Tanakaya near JR Mejiro Station for special bottlings.
     
  20. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    For sure, but for the stuff you want to drink every day the Don is the place to go. If you have a Valor near you that is also a place that stocks a lot of whiskeys.
     
  21. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    tried to find it, no luck
     
  22. churchy

    churchy One of Us

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    As did I. I looked on Yahoo auctions on the day of the announcement and saw a bottle go for $600 which, relatively speaking, was a bargain if the reviews are to be believed. Original label price was quite low though, around USD150-200 iirc so anyone who was lucky enough to buy one off the shelf at retail got an absolute steal...
     
  23. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Where exactly?

    (i.e. Gotta map? ;) )
     
  24. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    Buy your whey, a ***** and a bottle of 15yr yamazaki.
    Oh and a 15grand watch.
     
  25. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

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    [​IMG]

    I'm working my way through a bottle I got given for my birthday. I love it. It's about $A70 a bottle here.

    Interesting article re Japanese hand carved ice balls for whisky:
    http://www.executivestyle.com.au/handchipped-ice-balls-are-the-cool-new-drink-trend-ghgg5i

    The first time I saw these was in the whisky bar at Tomamu.

    [​IMG]

    "Even today, ice is still considered as something of quite a rich commodity," Onishi told Executive Style. "They don't actually have that much space for ice machines in Japan because all the bars are so small, so they have large blocks of ice delivered to them every day. To showcase their precision and their craftsmanship, bartenders hand-cut their ice and then serve their whisky and cocktails over these hand-crafted ice spheres."
     
  26. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Nikka Black is all i drink. I drunk one called King once, that was good too. Im all about cheap booze. Its all the same shit and has the same result.

    Also, Yes to Aquarius (I bring the sachets back with me!) and Yes to Chu Hi. My favourite is the Kirin Ume.
     
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  27. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Very interesting and informative thread. So much so that I've picked up a bottle of Nikka From the Barrel to share with my daughter next week.

    But please, some respect. When referring to things originating from north of Hadrian's Wall, the correct adjective is Scots or Scottish. Not scotch or even Scotch.

    Scotch is a verb meaning to scour or scrub. Hence Scotchbrite scouring pads. Maybe not entirely inappropriate when referring to supermarket grade whisky, but in the context of fine single malts, the term is offensive to those of us of proud Scots heritage.
    :cheers:
     
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  28. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  29. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Had a bottle of the Nikka, it was OK, like Monkey Shoulder is OK, but pretty much a mixer for me.

    But it has interested me in Japanese Whiskey, so, what is a good one? One to drink neat?
     
  30. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Saying you had a bottle of "Nikka" is like saying you had a pair of Atomics and they were ok.

    Because there are quite a few distilleries around Japan, and they produce whisky in the original way Scotch was produced (Which they don't seem to do in Scotland these days), the Japanese distilleries produce unique limited batches. My brother has found bottles from batches of less than 200.

    If you want to know about good ones, read my first post:

     
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  31. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  32. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I will look into it, thanks Sandy, IMO if it costs less than $100, its probably a mixer. I dont do the really cheap ones at all, ruins a good coke! But my fav is a good one neat (preferably from a hip, in the backcountry, but in a glass after dinner is pretty nice too). The Nikka I had was around $65. Not a fan of ice, but one drop of water can be good.
     
  33. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Reality: Whisky is cheap in Japan. (or it was!!!)
    Read my first post about Mars Iwai Tradition Wine cask for 2000 yen(about $22), 2495 bottles limited release. I bought 3 bottles of this for my brother, and he said it was as good as a $100 bottle of Scotch in Australia.
     
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  34. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I hold The Hakushu in high regard.
     
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  35. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yamazaki for every day, Hakushu for every other day ;)
     
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  36. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Possibly some bad news for drinkers of Japanese whisky....

    Along with the discovery, overseas, of Japanese whisky and the competitions they are winning, it seems that the Japanese have discovered Japanese whisky in the last 3 months in such a big way, that just about every bottle of aged whisky has disappeared!!!!!
    So for the time being, Japanese whisky will only be available without an age tag. So no more readily available 12, 18 and 25yo Yamazaki or Hakushu, no 12, 17, 21 and 30yo Hibiki, no 10, 12, 15, and 20 Miyagikyo or Yoichi, and no 17, 21 and 25yo Taketsuru......

    A morning TV show in Japan called "Massan" broadcast on NHK, suddenly gave Japanese drinkers the realisation that Japan produced premium whisky, that they thought, up to that point, only come out of Scotland. They still drink cheap Japanese whisky by the truck load, which in itself, was still good compared to Scotches of the same price.

    It also means that in order to maintain some stocks of premium whisky, the distillers(Nikka & Suntory) have raised the prices accordingly.

    HOWEVER, others like Ichiro's Malt, Mars Whisky, White Oak or Kirin were not mentioned in Massan, so the stock remain unaffected, although perhaps the prices will rise because of the vaccum left by Nikka & Suntory.

    So it's time to get onto the lesser known(outside of Japan) distillers!!!
     
  37. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Damn that's bad news, im gonna send my bro down to the Don to buy up anything premium that's left.
     
  38. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    While he's there, see if he can get some Mars Komagatake 22 yo vatted single malt. If there's any it might be a reasonable price (was about 9500yen)
     
  39. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Will do. Unfortunately he's in Okinawa at the moment, he might need to raid the local store down there.
     
  40. gibbsy

    gibbsy Addicted

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    ;)@bobgnarly , i may need you to duck down the shops for me...
     
  41. weerab

    weerab One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I recently retired and was given a bottle of Nikka Single Malt "Miyagikyo", 12 YO. Not a bad drop, lots of vanilla.

    It's actually imported and distributed by the company I worked for.
     
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  42. Mike Pow

    Mike Pow One of Us

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    Nikka Coffey from the distillery :thumbs:
     
  43. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    There's two different sorts:
    Nikka Coffey Grain and Nikka Single Cask Coffey Malt.

    Looks like it's getting difficult to find.


    What I've found recently:

    Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 17yo. This is box packaged. I haven't seen it in bottle shops, but there were a few in my supermarket today, for the princely sum of 6500 yen. They have it online on Rakuten for 10,700 yen.

    "Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 is a blend of single malts from Nikka's Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. It's a very interesting expression that combines the best of Yoichi's assertive, smoky flavors with Miyagikyo's fruity, floral profile. The result is something like magic. Richly malty with honey, plums, and berries floating above dark chocolate, leather, and smoke, it's a whisky that is almost impossibly unified, considering the range of flavors going on. This is one of the finest blended malts on the market today, showcasing in one bottle almost all of the flavors and complexities you can achieve from aging distilled barley in wood."

    http://www.nicks.com.au/nikka-taketsuru-17-year-old-pure-malt-japanese-whisky-700ml
     
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  44. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    As previously mentioned earlier in this thread, the age labeled Japanese Whisky is long gone.

    However, here is one that you can get, not single malt, but it's good and cheap, much better value than a non age labeled Yamazaki or Yoichi. Kirin Fuji Sanroku 50

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Review: (1280yen for 700ml in the supermarket!!!)
    1. Kirin Fuji Sanroku (foot of mount Fuji) NAS blend, 50% ABV (about $15)
    This one is a very well-priced "supermarket whiskey" in Japan, that I added to an order to get free shipping. I initially had very low expectations.

    Nose: Vanilla, apples, grapes, grains and hints of coffee and caramel

    Palate: Medium to heavy body, roasted grains, Four Roses bourbon, cooked milk and a touch of must

    Finish:
    Fruit from the nose re-emerges, moderate burn, finishes cleanly.

    Overall: This is really surprisingly good. There is no mistaking this for a single malt but the grain component here lends a nice, heavy mouthfeel and the bourbon presence lends really pleasant floral and vanilla notes (I presume that the bourbon barrels used were from Four Roses, also owned by Kirin, and you can really smell the similarity). Often, when it is hot and I want a whisky with ice that I do not need to think too hard about I will order a Johnny Walker Black; this does about the same thing for me, for much cheaper. 82/100
    http://whiskeyobsessive.blogspot.jp/2013/06/konnichiwa.html
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    http://www.nonjatta.com/2016/04/Fujisanroku-50.html

    Cheap and very easy to find.
    [​IMG]
     
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  45. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I remember picking that up in a 7/11 for around $8 AUD in Feb.
    Really good drop, packs a bit of heat at 50% but still super smooth and lovely.
    And did i mention it was $8.....?!
     
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  46. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    A mate bought me a bottle of the Kirin which is now almost gone. Definitely a great day to day whisky.
    And @Mike Pow , those two Coffey Still whiskys are a favourite now, having discovered them in the supermarket in Kutchan this year. The malt in particular is a mouthful for every small sip. So many bottles to look out for next trip.
     
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  47. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

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    Wandered into Dan Murphy's the other day to stock up on some Japanese Whisky. Can find anywhere. Chat to store dude who informs me the whole shelf where they used have stock is no more as it's virtually impossible to source through their usual distributors. Apparently Chinese market is demanding all export product, so none for Australia.
     
  48. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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  49. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I used to work for Dans whilst at uni and yep, there are only select stores where you can buy Jap whiskey. Just too much demand and not enough supply
     
  50. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    See my post above.

    What Dan Murphy's told you is not correct, but it is a very popular misconception. The age labeled Japanese whisky started disappearing within a couple of weeks of the "Massan" TV broadcast on NHK, in April 2015.

    The run on Japanese whisky by the Japanese has stripped all of the age labeled whisky, and the distilleries have only been able to slowly ramp up production. However, there is still plenty of non age labeled whisky on shelves everywhere in Japan.

    This idea is reinforced by the "demand from overseas" misconception, because it is repeated on the internet without the knowledge of the NHK show, and its impact.
    e.g.
    http://www.executivestyle.com.au/is-the-supply-of-japanese-whisky-drying-up-in-australia-gj87ae

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    At Nicks Wine Merchants, one of Australia's premium online liquor stores, manager Alex Chlebnikowski has a dilemma: his customers want high-end Japanese whisky and he's finding it nigh impossible to lay his hands on fresh bottles.

    "I've noticed the supply is simply drying up, especially when it comes to anything with an age-statement," Chlebnikowski says. "The supply is very inconsistent, and the prices seem to be creeping up as well."

    Over the past year, demand for Japan's silky world-beating whisky has completely exploded among Western drinkers. In particular, interest picked up after lauded critic Jim Murray proclaimed a single malt from the Yamazaki distillery "the best in the world," in November 2014. Of course, that bottling immediately flew off the shelves, and prices spiked.
    Supply and demand
    "The worldwide increase in demand means it's impossible for Japanese distilleries to keep up the supply," says Chlebnikowski. "We're talking about a product that takes a minimum of three years to make and may be aged for 20 years or more. You can't just turn on a tap overnight, like you can with vodka."

    Chlebnikowski says there are plenty of occasions when customers call up wanting a particular Japanese whisky and he has to tell them it is not available.

    The Japanese will never compromise on the quality of their products. That's the bottom line.

    Larry Aronson
    "We take down their name and email and let them know when – or if – the whisky is available again," he says. "It's a first in first served basis."

    It's the same story over at The World of Whisky in Sydney's Double Bay. Director Larry Aronson says while in the past he's had great access to a range of Japanese whiskies, many of these are now dwindling, leaving him with an empty shelf.

    Empty shelves
    "The rarest of all are the whiskies from the Karauizawa distillery," he says. "It closed down 2001 and subsequently has become the most sought after Japanese Single Malts amongst collectors and investors."

    "But even whiskies from existing big name distilleries; drops like the 15-year-old Nikka Yoichi and their 12-year-old Miyagikyo are just impossible to get your hands on," he says. "Nikka has said they will not be releasing any whiskies right now because they are keeping them for blending purposes which is where their bulk sales are nowadays."

    To get around the shortfall, Japanese producers are starting to pull back some, or all, of their popular age-statement whiskies and replacing them with non-age statement products, which can be rolled out faster to thirsty buyers.

    End of the age
    In June, Suntory unveiled Hibiki Japanese Harmony ($99) a blend of malt and grain whiskies that tastes strikingly similar to the Hibiki 12-year-old bottling, with a delicate mix of honey and stone fruit, but the Harmony carries no age statement.

    Although the popular Hibiki 12 hasn't been officially retired, don't hold your breath trying to find it. "Hibiki Japanese Harmony will now be our central focus," a representative from Beam Suntory confirms.

    Similarly, Suntory's Yamazaki and Hakashu have released their Distiller's Reserve, also without an age statement.

    Aronson says whisky lovers can still buy with confidence. "At the end of the day, while these non-aged whiskies don't have the sheer complexity and full-flavour of some of the older Japanese products, the quality is still there…the Japanese will never compromise on the quality of their products. That's the bottom line."

    And he says while the stocks of well-known Japanese whiskies may be drying up, it is still possible to snare a lesser known label. For example the Akashi distillery's White Oak ($120) is readily available. As is the Chichibu with their Mizunara Wood ($280). "The quantities they produce might be small compared to the larger distilleries, but on the other hand fewer people will have heard of them, so the demand will be less."

    "These smaller guys tend to be purists in some respects," says Aronson. "A lot of their whiskies boast slightly higher alcohol percentages and they don't use any colourants in their products."

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    This article simply doesn't mention the REAL reason for the problem.

    By the way, the Fuji Sanroku 50 I mentioned available for $15 or less in Japan, you can buy in Australia for $145!!!!!
    http://www.oakbarrel.com.au/shop/spirits/kirin-fuji-sanroku-whisky
    So have a think about it. If "Oak Barrel" can sell a $15 Fuji Sanroku for $145, or a $40 Nikka Coffey Malt for $170, why would they even bother finding a hard to get 12yo Yoichi for $180 in Japan, when they can make huge money on easy to find cheaper Japanese Whisky?
    I mean, the Nikka Taketsuru 17yo that you could find in the supermarket 6 months ago for about $70, they wanted $450 for it, when it was in stock!!!!!