They are good, in fact they are very good when it comes to technology, cars, consumer electronics, and many more things. One historically that has not been associated with Japan is whisky. However, things are changing, and they are changing fast!
When I said changing fast, I should add it is only changing fast now thanks to the joys of the open markets, technology and firms like The Drinks Basket delivering you the best alcohol has to offer to your front door. In actual fact the first Nikka Whisky was released in 1940, and the first Suntory Whisky was released even earlier in 1929, but that went down like a Bud Light would in Russia! Don’t worry as they bounced back, and did so in style.
So where did this whisky (not 'whiskey') influence come from? Well, the clue is in the name. It all stems from two individuals influenced by Scottish Whisky, and then taking their experiences to Japan to master the art and production of high quality Whisky.
So why is whisky from Japan so good? Mainly, this stems from taking advantage of the best the world of whisky has to offer and making it even better (the Japanese way!). From using remote locations for water purity, to advanced filtration, to increased variety and many more reasons including the types of yeast and barley. Japanese Whisky is really that good, but do remember that the way to drink this is either neat, or with a drop of water which will help release those unique aromas and flavours.
As I write this up on a Monday with a heavy head, due to all the copious amount of whisky tasting I think I have narrowed down my 3 favourites.
Firstly for me it has to be Nikka Super which has been reinvented into a superb tipple. This is down to the scent and smoothness of the whisky which together work in equal harmony providing a complete whisky experience. I had this on the rocks and within seconds of the water mixing with the Whisky the aroma was there in abundance, and it was a very smooth and enjoyable drinking experience.
Next up in my top 3 is Hibiki Harmony, which is currently available on The Drinks Basket for only £58.99. This one I enjoyed with a few drops of cold water, which is perfect to release those floral aromas and that sweet flavour. This is so good that it becomes a dangerously drinkable drink, not too sure if that is a bad thing though!
Thirdly, for me has to be Nikka Pure Black Malt. In my opinion anything from Nikka is bound to be good and distilled to a high-level of quality. And In terms of quality and value (at a mouthwatering price of only £38.99 at The Drinks Basket - down from £43.99) this is really at the pinnacle of providing a top notch whisky with a great oak finish at a superbly affordable price!
That is just three of those I tried that I would have no hesitation in recommending as a gift, a post dinner tipple or for any other occasion. The good news is that there are many more high quality whiskies form the Land of the Rising Sun, and they seem to get better and better. Thank you Japan. Thank you whisky. And thank you for the enjoyable weekend you so very much provided me!