Community Favorites: Japanese Whiskies

Check out the Distiller community's favorite Japanese whiskies!
Oct 12, 2016
  • 10
    10 Hibiki Harmony Japanese Harmony Master’s Select
    4.16
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 395 )
    Fruity & Sweet
    Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master’s Select was released in late 2015 for the global travel retail market (duty free). It's a blend of 10 different malt and grain whiskies that have aged in 5 different casks at the Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries in Japan. It carries no age statement and is bottled at 43% ABV.
  • 9
    9 Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 Year
    4.27
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 258 )
    Spicy & Fruity
    The Taketsuru whiskies are comprised of selected blended malts from the two Nikka distilleries, Miyagikyo and Yoichi, and are named after Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka. Taketsuru-san first learned how to distill in Scotland in 1919 at several distilleries which includes an apprenticeship at the Hazelburn distillery in Campbeltown.
  • 8
    8 Hakushu 18 Year
    4.31
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 149 )
    Rich & Fruity
    The 18 year old expression of Hakushu, (the 12 year makes an amazing Highball,) this one is more of a sipper, Sherry barrels lingering long.
  • 7
    7 Nikka Yoichi 15 Year Single Malt
    4.34
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 292 )
    Rich & Full Bodied
    This whisky is produced at Nikka's Yoichi distillery located on Japan's northern most island, Hokkaido. The location of the distillery was chosen for its elevation and cool climate, proximity to a forest for access to wood for barrels, and a high quality water source nearby. This distillery still employs direct coal fired pot stills, something even the Scots rarely still do.
  • 6
    6 Hibiki 17 Year
    4.42
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 643 )
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Created in 1989 but only recently available in the United States, Hibiki is a blend of single malts from Suntory's two distilleries, Yamazaki and Hakushu, and grain whisky from their Chita distillery. The design of the bottle is meant to symbolize the 24 seasons of the Japanese lunar calendar. Note: Announced in 2018, this product will be discontinued in some markets at some point beginning in 2019 with limited availability in the next few years.
  • 5
    5 Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 21 Year
    4.47
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 226 )
    Fruity & Rich
    This Pure Malt (also known as Vatted Malt or blended malt) is whisky distilled at two different malt whisky distilleries, Miyagikyo and Yoichi. Unlike in Scotland, the Japanese do not trade whiskies with other companies; they produce their own varied whiskies and blend to their specifications. With varying elements of whisky production from different peat levels, different yeasts, variations on fermentation and distillation, types of casks used and length of time aged, one might say they have a plethora of possibilities.
  • 4
    4 Hibiki 21 Year
    4.52
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 745 )
    Fruity & Sweet
    Hibiki is the blended whisky brand produced by Suntory. Combining their two single malt whiskies, Hakushu and Yamazaki, with their corn-based grain whisky, Chita, they create something completely their own. Utilizing a mix of American, European, and Japanese wood this aged a minimum of 21 years and bottled at 86 proof. This is being slowly released to a couple of US major markets at the end of 2014 and then further expanding to the rest of the country for 2015 along with their 17 year-old version.
  • 3
    3 Yamazaki 18 Year
    4.63
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 935 )
    Fruity & Sweet
    There is an art to blending the whiskies here. Yes, this is a single malt distillery, but it is the variety of whiskies that are made here that make Yamazaki whisky special. It is the variety of shapes and sizes of the stills, the variety in the sizes and kind of barrels used and it is the different ages chosen to make this whisky. In this case, all are at least 18 years old, but some are much older. Roughly 80% of the whisky is aged in Sherry cask with American and Mizunara casks used for the remaining 20%.
  • 2
    2 Yamazaki 25 Year
    4.79
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 64 )
    Fruity & Full Bodied
    Only 12,000 bottles of this rare Japanese single malt are produced each year. After enjoying a long and slow maturation of 25 years exclusively in sherry butts, it is bottled at 43% ABV.
  • 1
    1 Hibiki 30 Year
    4.85
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 57 )
    Fruity & Sweet
    This blended whisky is comprised of single malts from Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries and single grain from Chita distillery. The bottle is thoughtfully designed with 30 facets, representing each year of its slow and patient maturation in a variety of oak barrels. This expression is hard to come by and produced in very limited quantities.