The Best Asian Single Malts Under $100

Sure you’ve heard about whisky from Japan, but what about Taiwan? Or India? Get your palate acquainted with our favorite Asian single malt whiskies--all under $100.
Aug 18, 2018
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    With Japan experiencing shortages of aged malt whisky, many Japanese brands like the Nikka have opted to replace their range with no-age-statement variants. Launched Stateside in September 2016, Yoichi Single Malt is a peated single malt that replaces the beloved aged expressions of the same line: Yoichi 10, 12, 15, and 20 that have been discontinued. Distilled from malted barley and aged using a variety of casks including new American oak and ex-sherry casks, it is bottled at 45% ABV.
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    Fruity & Sweet
    Aged initially in American oak, they are subsequently finished in Ruby Port, Tawny Port, and Vintage Port casks. Tricky business aging whisky in a tropical climate, let alone double maturing.
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    Rampur Select Single Malt is produced by Radico Khaitan Distillery in the foothills of the Himalayas. With a history dating back to 1943, Radico Khaitan only recently entered the global single malt whisky market. Rampur is described as the Kohinoor of Single Malts, referencing one of the largest cut diamonds in the world.
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    Fruity & Sweet
    It was inevitable that shortages of mature stock would lead to new releases sans the age statement, like this one from Nikka Whisky Distilling Company in Japan. Miyagikyo Single Malt was launched Stateside in September 2016 along with Yoichi Single Malt, made at Nikka's other distillery. Miyagikyo Distillery is located in the Miyagi Prefecture, northeast of Honshu, where the fresh waters of the Nikkawa and Hirose rivers meet. Mostly unpeated barley is used at the distillery, though this single malt contains a portion of slightly peated malt. Casks of sherry, new American oak, ex-bourbon oak, and others were utilized for maturation. It's bottled at 45% ABV.
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    Fruity & Vanilla
    The young distillery, Kavalan, released their first bottling in December 2008, but they have already made quite an impression winning awards and accolades. Distilled at the King Car Distillery in Taiwan, Kavalan is the name of the earliest tribe that inhabited Yilan, where King Car resides. The Classic bottling here is aged in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks but mostly of the refill variety.
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    Spicy & Sweet
    Amrut derives its name from the Sanskrit word "Amrita" whose literal translation is "immortality" and often referred to what the gods were drinking, a nectar. Amrut has five standard bottlings in their line up, this Peated Single Malt being one of them.
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    Spicy & Full Bodied
    It’s a bold move to introduce a new whisky distillery, from a non-traditional whisky nation, with a cask strength offering. Paul John distillery though, is clearly aiming its marketing efforts at the high end – whisky aficionados who will appreciate the unique pleasures of high-power bottlings. Following in the footsteps of Amrut distillery, Paul John is relying more on word of mouth than advertising to get the message out. So far it’s working well and this relatively new distillery, from Goa, India, is making great strides among whisky cognoscenti. Classic Select Cask is unpeated and non-chillfiltered.
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    Peaty & Smoky
    Goa, India, has long been a sea-side destination for Western tourists and trust-fund youth in search of themselves. Unlike British India, Goa remained a Portuguese outpost until it was annexed by India in 1961. Visitors will find more piri-piri dishes than curry here and this Goan fondness for spices shines through in the Scotch-style single malts of Paul John distillery. This new distillery is clearly focused on the long term. Despite a climate that favors rapid aging, Paul John did not begin showing its whiskies to the world until they were well rounded and balanced. Like all Paul John whiskies, this one is non-chillfiltered.
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    Fruity & Sweet
    The Hakushu Distillery is one of three owned by Suntory. Located in northern Japan in the forests of Mt Kai Komagatake this is a peated whisky, but it is one comprised of different whiskies produced at the same distillery. The components are a non-peated whisky aged in American oak, a non-peated whisky aged in ex-sherry/Spanish Oak, and a peated whisky aged in American oak. As such, the peat level goes down to a mild 7-9 ppm. 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.