20 Best Japanese Whisky Under $100

by Takashi Nomoni
best japanese whisky

When it comes to alcohol, my go-to is whisky! And nothing beats good Japanese whisky. So here’s a list of best Japanese whisky under $100 you should definitely try if you’re a whisky girl like me! Whisky holds a special place among different types of alcohol because of its spirit essence and richness. Every country adds something special to the way they collect ingredients for whisky and allows it to mature.

Similarly, Japan adds a whole new layer to the range of whiskies available across the world. Though, I love Japanese beer too. But if I had to choose it’s always going to whisky.

Japan has some of the best distilleries in the world that are known to produce world-class whiskies. Though it is hard to name the best Japanese whisky (because they’re all so good!), I’ve tried to list down some Japanese whisky brand names that you can add to your collection.

Which is the best Japanese whisky under $100?

We taste-tested about 20+ Japanese whiskies on the basis of their age, malt type, quality of the cask and taste. We found Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky to be the best Japanese whisky.  Here’s why:

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is a blended grain whiskey that is made using a Coffey still, which is a type of continuous still that is not commonly used in whisky production. This gives the whisky a unique flavor profile that is smooth and mellow, with notes of vanilla, cereal, and honey. It is also bottled at a relatively high alcohol content of 45% ABV, which gives it a bit of a kick.

Some of these best Japanese whisky are not just luxurious in flavour but also require a luxurious budget. However, we balance the list with the top-selling Japanese whiskies that are affordable.

So check out the list below and decide which one of these best Japanese whisky is for you:

Best Japanese Whisky Under $100

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is a true gem in the world of spirits, showcasing the exceptional craftsmanship of the renowned Nikka distillery. As a connoisseur of fine whiskies, I was eager to delve into the unique characteristics of this particular offering. 

In this review, I’ll share my thoughts on its flavor profile, aroma, smoothness, and overall experience. So, let’s raise a glass and discover the delightful nuances of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky.

Flavor Profile:

The flavor profile of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is a harmonious symphony of delicate sweetness and refined complexity. Upon the first sip, you are greeted by a gentle wave of vanilla, caramel, and honey notes, which lend a rich and inviting sweetness. 

As the whisky envelops your palate, hints of tropical fruits, such as banana and pineapple, emerge, adding a delightful and unexpected twist. The oak undertones are subtle yet present, contributing to a well-rounded flavor that evolves beautifully with each sip.

Aroma:

The aroma of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is a true delight for the senses. From the moment the bottle is uncorked, a fragrant bouquet wafts through the air, enticing you to explore further. The nose is greeted with a captivating blend of citrus zest, warm spices, and a gentle nuttiness. 

As the whisky breathes, the aroma deepens, revealing delicate floral notes and a subtle whiff of toasted oak. It’s a captivating olfactory experience that sets the stage for the indulgence to come.

Smoothness:

One of the standout qualities of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is its remarkable smoothness. Upon tasting, the whisky effortlessly glides over the tongue, coating every taste bud with its velvety texture. 

There is no harsh bite or overwhelming heat, but rather a luxurious and gentle warmth that leaves a lasting impression. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as the foundation for a classic cocktail, the smoothness of this whisky elevates the drinking experience to new heights.

Overall Experience:

In summary, Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is a testament to the artistry and dedication of the Nikka distillery. It embodies the perfect balance between traditional craftsmanship and modern innovation. 

From its exceptional flavor profile, with its unique interplay of sweetness and fruitiness, to its captivating aroma and unparalleled smoothness, this whisky is a true delight for whisky enthusiasts and newcomers alike. 

The attention to detail and commitment to quality shine through in every aspect, making Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky a standout choice for those seeking a refined and memorable whisky experience.

Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky

Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky is a testament to the artistry and innovation of the renowned Nikka distillery. As an avid whisky enthusiast, I had the pleasure of experiencing the distinctive characteristics of this exceptional offering. 

In this review, I’ll delve into the flavor profile, aroma, smoothness, and overall experience that make Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky a true standout in the world of spirits. So, let’s raise a glass and explore the captivating nuances of this remarkable whisky.

best japanese whisky
Nikka.com

Flavor Profile:

The flavor profile of Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky is a symphony of elegance and complexity. With each sip, your palate is enveloped in a harmonious dance of flavors. 

The whisky greets you with a delicate sweetness, revealing notes of ripe fruits, such as pears and apples, interwoven with hints of vanilla and honey. 

As the journey continues, subtle spices emerge, adding depth and a gentle warmth to the overall experience. The richness of the malt shines through, leaving a lingering and satisfying finish that invites you to explore further.

Aroma:

The aroma of Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky is a sensory delight that captivates from the moment it reaches your nose. Upon uncorking the bottle, a symphony of enticing scents fills the air. The nose is greeted with a delightful blend of citrus zest, floral notes, and a touch of oak. 

As the whisky breathes, the aroma evolves, revealing hints of malted barley and a subtle smokiness that adds a layer of complexity. It’s an inviting and enchanting bouquet that prepares you for the exceptional experience to come.

Smoothness:

One of the standout qualities of Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky is its remarkable smoothness. As the liquid caresses your palate, it effortlessly glides, leaving behind no harshness or bite. 

The velvety texture adds a luxurious dimension to the drinking experience, allowing you to savor each sip. Whether enjoyed neat or with a splash of water, the smoothness of this whisky remains consistent, enhancing the overall enjoyment and highlighting the expert craftsmanship behind its creation.

Overall Experience:

Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky offers an exceptional whisky experience that combines elegance, complexity, and a touch of Japanese artistry. From the balanced and nuanced flavor profile to the captivating aroma and impeccable smoothness, every sip is a journey of sensory delight. 

The attention to detail in its creation is evident, resulting in a whisky that transcends expectations and leaves a lasting impression. Whether you’re a seasoned whisky enthusiast or a curious newcomer, Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky is sure to satisfy and elevate your whisky journey.

Mars Iwai Tradition

Mars Iwai Tradition presents a captivating flavor profile that combines traditional whisky elements with a uniquely Japanese twist. From the first sip, you’re greeted with a delicate sweetness, reminiscent of ripe fruits and a gentle touch of honey. 

The whisky reveals layers of complexity as subtle hints of toasted oak, spices, and floral undertones emerge, creating a harmonious balance on the palate. There’s a remarkable smoothness to the flavor, with no overpowering notes but rather a graceful progression of flavors that leave a lasting impression.

word image 21

Aroma:

The aroma of Mars Iwai Tradition is a sensory delight that draws you in with its intricate layers. As you bring the glass to your nose, you’re greeted with a delightful blend of fruity esters, with hints of apples, pears, and citrus dancing in harmony. 

The fragrance evolves, revealing a subtle interplay of floral notes, warm spices, and a gentle waft of malted barley. It’s an aromatic symphony that entices you to delve deeper into the whisky’s complexities.

Smoothness:

One of the standout qualities of Mars Iwai Tradition is its exceptional smoothness. Upon the first sip, the whisky glides effortlessly over the palate, coating it with a velvety texture. The liquid caresses your taste buds, allowing the flavors to fully develop and unfold. 

There’s a graceful elegance to the smoothness that enhances the overall drinking experience, making each sip a moment to be savored and appreciated.

Overall Experience:

Mars Iwai Tradition offers a captivating whisky experience that beautifully represents the artistry of Japanese whisky-making. 

From the well-balanced flavor profile that blends sweetness, spices, and fruitiness, to the enchanting aroma that invites exploration, every aspect of this whisky is meticulously crafted. 

The smoothness of the liquid further elevates the experience, creating a sense of indulgence and satisfaction. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as the foundation for a classic cocktail, Mars Iwai Tradition is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Nikka From the Barrel

Nikka From the Barrel is a whisky that commands attention with its bold flavor profile and impeccable craftsmanship. 

As a dedicated whisky enthusiast, I eagerly immersed myself in the depths of this celebrated Japanese blend. In this review, I will explore the intricate nuances of its flavor, aroma, strength, and overall drinking experience. 

So, let’s raise a glass and embark on a journey through the captivating world of Nikka From the Barrel.

word image 23

Flavor Profile:

Nikka From the Barrel presents a flavor profile that harmoniously balances intensity and complexity. From the first sip, you are greeted by a symphony of rich and robust flavors. 

The palate is enveloped in a delightful explosion of spices, dark chocolate, and dried fruits, interwoven with hints of vanilla and honey. 

As the whisky evolves on your tongue, oak notes emerge, adding depth and a touch of sophistication. It’s a robust and well-rounded flavor profile that leaves a lasting impression.

Aroma:

The aroma of Nikka From the Barrel is a sensory feast that captivates from the moment you bring the glass to your nose. 

The fragrance is rich and inviting, with a captivating blend of dried fruits, warm spices, and a subtle undercurrent of floral notes. 

See also  10 Popular Japanese Ice Cream Brands 2022

The complexity deepens as the whisky breathes, revealing nuances of oak, caramel, and a hint of smoke. It’s an aromatic symphony that sets the stage for the immersive experience to follow.

Strength:

One of the defining characteristics of Nikka From the Barrel is its notable strength. Bottled at a higher ABV, this whisky packs a punch that demands attention. 

However, the high alcohol content is seamlessly integrated, ensuring a balanced and enjoyable drinking experience. The strength amplifies the flavors, intensifying the spices and allowing the other elements to shine through with remarkable clarity. Each sip is a testament to the whisky’s power and its ability to captivate the palate.

Overall Experience:

Nikka From the Barrel offers an exceptional whisky experience that effortlessly blends power and elegance. The robust and complex flavors, combined with the captivating aroma and strength, create a drinking experience that is both engaging and satisfying. 

Whether enjoyed neat or with a splash of water to unlock additional layers of flavor, Nikka From the Barrel showcases the artistry and dedication of the Nikka distillery. 

It is a whisky that leaves a lasting impression and serves as a testament to the remarkable quality of Japanese whisky.

Ohishi Sherry Single Cask Whisky

Ohishi Sherry Single Cask Whisky is a remarkable expression that beautifully showcases the marriage of Japanese whisky craftsmanship and the influence of sherry casks. 

As an avid whisky connoisseur, I was eagerly drawn to the distinct qualities of this limited edition release. 

In this review, I will explore the flavor profile, aroma, maturation, and overall experience that make Ohishi Sherry Single Cask Whisky a true gem for enthusiasts seeking a unique and memorable whisky adventure. 

So, let’s embark on a journey through the world of Ohishi Sherry Single Cask Whisky.

Best japanese whiskey 2020

Flavor Profile:

Ohishi Sherry Single Cask Whisky offers a flavor profile that captivates the senses with its richness and complexity. With each sip, you are greeted by a symphony of flavors that dance on the palate. 

The whisky entices with luscious notes of dried fruits, raisins, and figs, which are beautifully complemented by the signature sherry sweetness. 

As the journey progresses, subtle hints of dark chocolate, spices, and a touch of oak emerge, adding depth and layers of flavor. It’s a beautifully balanced and harmonious composition that leaves a lasting impression.

Aroma:

The aroma of Ohishi Sherry Single Cask Whisky is an olfactory delight that instantly transports you to a world of indulgence. As the whisky is gently nosed, the air is filled with a captivating blend of rich sherry notes, dried fruits, and a gentle sweetness. The fragrance deepens, revealing hints of caramel, warm spices, and a subtle earthiness. It’s a delightful bouquet that showcases the marriage of the whisky and the sherry cask, inviting you to explore further.

Maturation:

Ohishi Sherry Single Cask Whisky owes its exceptional character to the maturation process in sherry casks. 

The whisky has absorbed the rich flavors and distinct characteristics of the cask, resulting in a remarkable fusion of the two. 

The sherry cask imparts a natural sweetness, dried fruit notes, and a velvety smoothness that interweaves with the underlying whisky base. The maturation process adds depth, complexity, and a unique identity to this single cask expression, making it a true delight for the discerning palate.

Overall Experience:

Ohishi Sherry Single Cask Whisky offers an exceptional whisky experience that showcases the remarkable craftsmanship and attention to detail of the Ohishi distillery. 

From the beautifully balanced flavor profile that harmonizes sherry sweetness with the whisky’s inherent qualities, to the captivating aroma and the influence of sherry cask maturation, every sip is a journey of discovery.

It is a whisky that rewards the senses and delights the soul, leaving a lasting impression that lingers long after the glass is empty.

Kujira Ryukyu Whisky

Kujira Ryukyu Whisky represents the pride and heritage of Okinawa, an island known for its rich culture and warm tropical climate. As an ardent whisky enthusiast, I was intrigued by the notion of a Japanese whisky crafted in this unique region. 

In this review, I will explore the flavor profile, aroma, maturation, and overall experience of Kujira Ryukyu Whisky, offering insights into its distinct character and the essence of its island origins. So, let’s embark on a journey to uncover the treasures of Kujira Ryukyu Whisky.

Flavor Profile:

Kujira Ryukyu Whisky delights the palate with a flavor profile that embodies the spirit of Okinawa. With each sip, you’re greeted by a harmonious blend of tropical fruit notes, such as mango and pineapple, which evoke the island’s lush surroundings. 

The whisky unfolds with hints of honey, toffee, and a gentle sweetness, providing a balanced foundation for the vibrant fruit flavors. There’s a smoothness to the whisky, allowing the flavors to develop and linger, leaving a delightful and satisfying impression.

Aroma:

The aroma of Kujira Ryukyu Whisky is a sensory journey that transports you to the captivating landscapes of Okinawa. 

As you bring the glass to your nose, you are greeted by a bouquet of tropical fruits, intertwined with subtle floral undertones. The fragrance is enchanting, with hints of coconut, vanilla, and oak that add depth and complexity. 

It’s an invitation to delve deeper into the whisky’s layers and immerse yourself in the essence of Okinawa.

Maturation:

Kujira Ryukyu Whisky owes its character to the unique maturation process in the island’s warm and humid climate. The tropical climate accelerates the aging process, resulting in a whisky that exhibits maturity beyond its years. 

The maturation in oak casks imparts delicate oak spices, subtle vanilla, and a touch of caramel, contributing to the overall complexity and depth of flavor. The influence of the island’s environment on the maturation process creates a whisky that stands out among its peers.

Overall Experience:

Kujira Ryukyu Whisky offers a captivating whisky experience that celebrates the distinctiveness of Okinawa. From the vibrant tropical flavors and the enticing aroma to the influence of the island’s climate on the maturation process, every sip is an invitation to discover the island’s essence. 

It is a whisky that pays homage to the traditions of Japanese whisky-making while proudly embracing its own identity. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as the star of a cocktail, Kujira Ryukyu Whisky promises a memorable and evocative experience.

Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky

Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky is a true testament to the art of blending and the beauty of nature. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this unique Japanese whisky pays homage to the ancient traditions and pristine landscapes of Japan. 

As an avid whisky enthusiast, I was excited to delve into the depths of Kamiki and explore its flavor profile, aroma, smoothness, and overall experience. Join me on this journey as we uncover the essence of Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky.

Flavor Profile:

Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky offers a flavor profile that captures the essence of nature’s bounty. From the first sip, you’re greeted by a symphony of flavors that evoke images of tranquil forests and blooming sakura trees. 

The whisky presents a delicate sweetness with hints of honey, floral notes, and a gentle touch of citrus. 

As the journey unfolds, subtle spices and woody undertones emerge, adding depth and complexity to the palate. It’s a harmonious blend that invites you to savor each sip and discover the intricacies within.

Aroma:

The aroma of Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky is an enchanting experience that transports you to the heart of a Japanese forest. 

As you raise the glass to your nose, a bouquet of floral notes, herbal nuances, and hints of sandalwood fill the air. The fragrance evolves, revealing delicate whispers of citrus, vanilla, and a touch of incense. 

It’s an aromatic journey that stimulates the senses and sets the stage for the immersive experience to follow.

Smoothness:

One of the standout qualities of Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky is its exceptional smoothness. The whisky glides effortlessly across the palate, caressing it with a velvety texture. 

The integration of flavors is seamless, allowing the complexities to unfold gracefully. Each sip offers a delightful combination of smoothness and depth, creating a thoroughly enjoyable and refined drinking experience.

Overall Experience:

Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky offers a captivating whisky experience that embodies the harmonious balance between nature and craftsmanship. 

From the thoughtfully crafted flavor profile that celebrates the beauty of Japan’s landscapes to the enchanting aroma that transports you to serene forests, every aspect of this whisky tells a story. 

The smoothness and refinement of Kamiki further elevate the experience, inviting you to immerse yourself in the nuances and complexities of this exceptional blend.

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky is a true masterpiece that showcases the exceptional craftsmanship and dedication of the Nikka distillery. As a passionate whisky enthusiast, I eagerly delved into the depths of this renowned Japanese single malt. 

In this review, I will explore the flavor profile, aroma, maturation, and overall experience of Nikka Yoichi, revealing its unique character and the artistry behind its creation. So, let us embark on a sensory journey through the captivating world of Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky.

nikka whisky 1
Nikka.com

Flavor Profile:

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky presents a flavor profile that harmoniously combines complexity and balance. With each sip, you are enveloped in a tapestry of flavors that captivate the palate. 

The initial taste reveals rich notes of malt, toffee, and a gentle smokiness that adds depth and character. 

As the whisky evolves, layers of dried fruits, spices, and a touch of chocolate emerge, showcasing the whisky’s remarkable complexity. It is a symphony of elegance that lingers on the tongue, leaving a lasting impression.

Aroma:

The aroma of Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky is a sensory delight that entices from the moment you bring the glass to your nose. The fragrance is a captivating blend of fruity sweetness, delicate peat smoke, and a subtle hint of coastal saltiness. 

As the whisky breathes, notes of oak, vanilla, and spice emerge, adding complexity and depth. It is an inviting bouquet that sets the stage for the immersive experience to come.

Maturation:

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky owes its exceptional character to the meticulous maturation process it undergoes. A combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks provides the foundation for the whisky’s remarkable flavor development. 

The influence of the casks imparts a delicate sweetness, a rich texture, and subtle nuances that enhance the overall experience. The result is a whisky that showcases the marriage of wood and spirit, offering a harmonious and memorable drinking experience.

Overall Experience:

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Whisky offers an exceptional whisky experience that exemplifies the artistry and dedication of the Nikka distillery. 

From the beautifully balanced flavor profile that seamlessly blends smoke, sweetness, and spice, to the captivating aroma and the influence of the maturation process, every sip is a journey of discovery. 

It is a whisky that rewards the senses and invites contemplation. Whether enjoyed neat, with a drop of water, or as the centerpiece of a whisky cocktail, Nikka Yoichi delivers a memorable and satisfying experience.

Hakushu 12 Year Old Single Malt

Hakushu 12 Year Old Single Malt whisky is a remarkable expression that embodies the pristine beauty of the Japanese Alps. 

See also  Is Japanese McDonald's Healthier?

Crafted with meticulous care and a reverence for nature, this whisky captures the essence of the Hakushu distillery’s breathtaking surroundings. 

As a devoted whisky connoisseur, I eagerly ventured into the depths of Hakushu 12 Year Old to explore its flavor profile, aroma, maturation, and overall experience. Join me as we embark on a sensory journey through the enchanting world of Hakushu.

Flavor Profile:

Hakushu 12 Year Old Single Malt offers a flavor profile that is both captivating and refreshing. From the very first sip, your taste buds are greeted with a symphony of flavors that evoke the tranquility of the forest. 

Delicate notes of green apple and pear dance on the palate, harmonizing with subtle hints of mint and pine. 

The whisky’s gentle smokiness adds depth, while a touch of honey and malt sweetness rounds off the experience. It is a beautifully balanced composition that leaves a lasting impression.

Aroma:

The aroma of Hakushu 12 Year Old Single Malt is an olfactory journey that transports you to the heart of a verdant forest. As you bring the glass to your nose, the air is filled with a delicate blend of fresh green notes, floral nuances, and a hint of earthiness. 

The fragrance evolves, revealing subtle citrus undertones and a gentle whiff of smoke. It is a captivating bouquet that reflects the purity and harmony of Hakushu’s natural surroundings.

Maturation:

Hakushu 12 Year Old owes its exquisite character to the careful maturation process it undergoes. The whisky is aged in a combination of American oak and sherry casks, allowing it to develop a rich complexity over time. 

The influence of the casks infuses the whisky with delicate oak spices, subtle vanilla, and a touch of dried fruit sweetness. The result is a whisky that is both mature and nuanced, showcasing the artistry and skill of the distillers.

Overall Experience:

Hakushu 12 Year Old Single Malt offers a truly exceptional whisky experience that celebrates the beauty of its natural surroundings. 

From the harmonious flavor profile that marries fruitiness, herbal freshness, and subtle smokiness, to the captivating aroma and the influence of maturation, every sip is a journey into the heart of nature. 

It is a whisky that invites contemplation and reflection, offering a respite from the everyday hustle and bustle. Whether enjoyed in solitude or shared with friends, Hakushu 12 Year Old Single Malt delivers a memorable and enchanting experience.

Suntory Toki Blended Whisky

Suntory Toki Blended Whisky embodies the spirit of harmony and balance, a hallmark of Japanese whisky craftsmanship. Created by the esteemed Suntory distillery, this blended whisky is a true reflection of the artistry and dedication that goes into every bottle. 

As a devoted whisky enthusiast, I eagerly immersed myself in the world of Suntory Toki to explore its flavor profile, aroma, smoothness, and overall experience. Join me as we uncover the essence of Suntory Toki Blended Whisky.

word image 16

Flavor Profile:

Suntory Toki Blended Whisky offers a flavor profile that is both nuanced and approachable. With each sip, you are greeted by a delicate fusion of flavors that captivate the palate. 

The whisky opens with light, floral notes and a touch of citrus, paving the way for subtle hints of pear and honeydew melon. As the journey progresses, a gentle spiciness emerges, adding depth and complexity. 

The balance of flavors is remarkable, showcasing the art of blending and the harmonious marriage of whiskies from different Suntory distilleries.

Aroma:

The aroma of Suntory Toki Blended Whisky is a sensory delight that entices from the moment you raise the glass to your nose. The fragrance is an exquisite blend of floral and herbal notes, intertwined with a subtle sweetness. 

Delicate hints of white flowers, basil, and green apple mingle harmoniously, creating an inviting bouquet. It is a refreshing and invigorating aroma that sets the stage for the refined experience to come.

Smoothness:

One of the standout qualities of Suntory Toki Blended Whisky is its remarkable smoothness. The whisky glides effortlessly across the palate, delivering a velvety texture that is both satisfying and indulgent. 

The gentle warmth and absence of harshness allow the flavors to develop and linger, creating a truly enjoyable and refined drinking experience.

Overall Experience:

Suntory Toki Blended Whisky offers a captivating whisky experience that embraces the spirit of harmony and balance. From the carefully curated flavor profile that blends lightness with complexity to the inviting aroma and exceptional smoothness, every aspect of this whisky exudes elegance. 

It is a versatile and accessible blend that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as a key ingredient in a well-crafted cocktail. 

Suntory Toki invites you to explore the world of Japanese whisky with an open mind and an appreciation for the artistry behind each sip.

Hitachino Nest Pure Malt Whisky

Hitachino Nest Pure Malt Whisky is a testament to the creativity and dedication of Kiuchi Brewery, renowned for their exceptional craft beer. In this venture into the world of whisky, they have crafted a unique expression that combines tradition and innovation. 

As an enthusiast of both beer and whisky, I was excited to explore the flavor profile, aroma, craftsmanship, and overall experience of Hitachino Nest Pure Malt Whisky. Join me as we uncover the intriguing qualities of this distinctive Japanese whisky.

Flavor Profile:

Hitachino Nest Pure Malt Whisky presents a flavor profile that is both intriguing and complex. From the first sip, you are greeted by a medley of flavors that captivate the palate. 

The whisky showcases a harmonious blend of fruity sweetness, delicate maltiness, and a subtle touch of peat smoke. Layers of caramel, vanilla, and oak add depth and richness to the experience. It is a well-balanced composition that unfolds with each sip, revealing new facets of its character.

Aroma:

The aroma of Hitachino Nest Pure Malt Whisky is a captivating journey that entices from the moment you bring the glass to your nose. The fragrance is a delicate blend of fruitiness, with notes of ripe apples, pears, and a hint of citrus. 

As the whisky breathes, hints of malted barley, toffee, and spices emerge, adding complexity and intrigue. It is an inviting bouquet that sets the stage for the immersive experience to follow.

Craftsmanship:

Hitachino Nest Pure Malt Whisky showcases the ingenuity and craftsmanship of Kiuchi Brewery. The whisky is crafted using a combination of malted barley and other specialty grains, highlighting the brewery’s expertise in brewing and distillation. 

The attention to detail and commitment to quality shine through in every aspect, from the selection of ingredients to the maturation process. It is a testament to the innovative spirit and dedication to excellence.

Overall Experience:

Hitachino Nest Pure Malt Whisky offers a unique and intriguing whisky experience that combines tradition with a dash of innovation. 

The harmonious flavor profile, captivating aroma, and the craftsmanship behind its creation make it a standout choice for whisky enthusiasts seeking something distinct. 

Whether enjoyed neat, with a drop of water, or incorporated into a cocktail, Hitachino Nest Pure Malt Whisky delivers a memorable and satisfying experience.

Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt

Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky is a true masterpiece that embodies the essence of the Miyagikyo distillery’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship. 

Crafted with precision and artistry, this Japanese single malt offers a symphony of flavors that captivate the senses. 

As a passionate whisky enthusiast, I eagerly embarked on a journey through the rich flavors, delicate aromas, and expert craftsmanship of Nikka Miyagikyo. Join me as we delve into the depths of this exceptional whisky.

word image 17

Flavor Profile:

Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky presents a flavor profile that is both nuanced and captivating. Each sip reveals a harmonious blend of flavors that dance on the palate. The whisky opens with a gentle sweetness, with notes of ripe fruits, such as pear and apricot, taking the forefront. 

As the experience unfolds, hints of honey, vanilla, and delicate spices emerge, adding depth and complexity. 

The maltiness is evident throughout, creating a smooth and well-rounded character. It is a flavor journey that invites contemplation and leaves a lasting impression.

Aroma:

The aroma of Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky is a sensory delight that entices from the moment you bring the glass to your nose. The fragrance is a delicate blend of floral and fruity notes, with a touch of oak and spice. 

The nose is greeted with the enticing scents of fresh orchard fruits, gentle floral undertones, and a subtle hint of citrus. It is an inviting bouquet that sets the stage for the refined experience to come.

Craftsmanship:

Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky is a testament to the expertise and artistry of the Miyagikyo distillery. The whisky is crafted using traditional production methods, combined with modern techniques, resulting in a spirit that embodies the best of both worlds. 

The attention to detail in every stage of the production process, from malt selection to fermentation and distillation, is evident in the final product. It is a testament to the dedication and skill of the distillers, ensuring that each bottle of Nikka Miyagikyo is a work of art.

Smoothness:

One of the standout qualities of Nikka Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky is its remarkable smoothness. The whisky glides across the palate with a velvety texture, delivering a luxurious and indulgent experience. 

The gentle warmth and absence of harshness allow the flavors to unfold gracefully, creating a refined and memorable drinking experience.

Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Whisky

Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Whisky is a testament to the artistry and innovation of Ichiro Akuto, the founder and master distiller of Chichibu Distillery. 

Known for pushing the boundaries of Japanese whisky, this expression is a harmonious blend of malt and grain whiskies that showcases the diversity and complexity of flavors. 

As a devoted whisky enthusiast, I eagerly embarked on a journey through the intriguing flavors, exquisite aromas, and exceptional craftsmanship of Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Whisky. 

Join me as we explore the depth and character of this remarkable whisky.

Flavor Profile:

Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Whisky presents a flavor profile that is both multi-layered and captivating. With each sip, you are transported on a taste adventure that unravels an array of flavors. The combination of malt and grain whiskies creates a symphony of taste. 

Rich maltiness intertwines with notes of ripe fruits, such as apples and pears, while delicate hints of vanilla and toffee add sweetness and depth. Subtle spices and oak nuances provide a gentle warmth and complexity, leaving a memorable impression on the palate. It is a whisky that continuously reveals new dimensions with each sip.

Aroma:

The aroma of Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Whisky is an olfactory delight that captivates from the moment the glass is lifted to the nose. 

The fragrance is an enticing blend of fruity and floral notes, with a touch of spice. The nose is greeted by the invigorating scents of orchard fruits, followed by hints of citrus and a delicate floral bouquet. 

See also  12 Best Japanese Vodka 2023

Subtle undertones of oak and malt add depth, creating an inviting aroma that sets the stage for the exceptional experience to follow.

Craftsmanship:

Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Whisky is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of Ichiro Akuto and his team at Chichibu Distillery. 

The whisky is meticulously crafted, with a careful selection of malt and grain whiskies that are expertly blended to achieve a harmonious balance. 

Each step of the production process, from fermentation to maturation, is carried out with precision and passion. It is a testament to the unwavering commitment to quality and innovation, resulting in a whisky that is truly exceptional.

Smoothness:

One of the standout qualities of Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Whisky is its impressive smoothness. The whisky glides effortlessly across the palate, delivering a velvety texture that is both indulgent and satisfying. 

The well-integrated flavors and gentle warmth create a seamless and refined drinking experience, allowing the complexities of the whisky to shine through without any harshness or overpowering elements.

Hakushu 18

Best Japanese Whisky 2023

word image 18

As we mentioned earlier, Suntory’s Hakushu distillery not just produces some of the best Japanese whisky, it is also a stunning place to visit as it is set deep in the Southern Japanese Alps surrounded by forests.

If you are in Japan and want to buy some quality whisky, this place is just a few hours away from Tokyo and you can kill two birds with one stone.

The 18-Year-Old single malt is one of the finest whiskies produced by Hakushu. It is a fine melody of fresh fruit and malt with a little hint of dried cherry and smoke. This is one of the best Japanese whiskey and is worthy of your collection whether or not you are a whisky connoisseur.

I definitely like Hakushu 18 better than the Suntory Yamazaki scotch. But that’s my personal favourite. You should try both and see which one is your preferred taste.

Believe me, this is a bottle you wouldn’t want to share provided you can get your hands on it. The prices can vary between $500 to $900 depending on where and who you are buying it from.

Other variations of this whisky are the Hakushu 12 year and 25-year versions but 18 has always had a spot above these two. Call it the perfect age!

Yamazaki Single Malt 12-year Old

Japanese Whisky Best In The World

word image 20

Japanese whiskey Yamazaki 12 is Suntory’s most recognizable whisky and is quite popular in America as well. In fact, it’s considered the best Japanese whiskey by many.

It is challenging to acquire this whisky as it is hard to find places that sell it at an affordable price.

However, the sheer quality of this product makes it worth trying. This is another whisky with a strong fruity essence along with hints of dry spices. It goes easy on the oak to generate a lingering flavour.

This whisky is aged for 12 years in a variety of casks, in order to balance the different flavours perfectly so that they complement each other. The final product is an absolutely stunning symphony that creates a unique experience.

Even if you can’t get your hands on a bottle of this quintessential Japanese whisky Yamazaki, you must sample this whisky at least once.

Hibiki Japanese Whisky 17

word image 22

With the complicated blend of flavours offered in Japanese whisky, blending is regarded as one of the most important procedures. It takes craftsmanship to get the right blend, especially if the distillery produces a range of whisky flavours. Great attention is paid to the proportions to get the right flavour.

Hibiki is another Suntory whisky that was first launched in the market in 1989 and now has five different expressions. The no-age-statement blended whiskey Japanese Harmony whisky is probably the easiest to get your hands on but the scotch Hibiki 17 is more special than any of the others. One of the reasons is that it is more affordable than the versions that have been aged for 21 years or 30 years.

It has a different texture than usual whiskies as it is rich, creamy with hints of caramel and peach. It is worth trying just for the uniqueness of it and may change your mind about this category of liquor even if you aren’t a whisky person.

Hibiki 12 year old (50cl) blended whisky is also a good choice! Definitely one of the best Japanese whisky!

Akashi Single Malt Japanese Whisky

word image 24

Akashi Single Malt is a blend of many various cask types, including bourbon, brandy, sherry, wine as well as shochu. The production of this whisky takes place at the White Oak distillery, located close to the ocean.

The distillery states that the location complements their blending process and adds a bit of salinity and brine to the whisky. This feature is enough to entice whisky lovers into trying this brand.

However, there are other compelling ingredients such as toffee and stone fruit that are part of the ingredients as they come with the different barrels the whisky is aged in. All these ingredients come together to give this whisky a solid malty undertone.

Mars Maltage 28 Year Old  – Shinshu Distillery

Top Japanese Whiskey

The Mars Maltage 28 year old is one of the best bottles from the Shinshu distillery. It’s head to head in competition with Nikka Japanese whiskey. In fact, the Mars Maltage 28-year-old Japanese whiskey was selected as the best Japanese blended Malt whiskey at the World Whiskies Awards in the year 2013. It has an alcohol strength of 46%.

mars

Chichibu Port Pipe

Chichibu is a small distillery just outside of Tokyo but whisky there is one of the best Japanese whisky you could ask for. One of the best whisky made by Chichibu is the Port Pipe whisky. It’s a single malt whisky with no age statement that is aged in ex-port barrels. This gives it a nice, candy-like taste without making it too sweet. 

Tips to Know Before Buying Japanese Whisky

  • Whisky prices change overtime depending on the age of the whisky.
  • Single malts tend to be pricier than other whiskies.
  • YO signifies “year old” which tells you how many years this whisky was aged in a barrel. In blended whisky, it might refer to an average age of different whiskies included. 
  • NAS means “No age statement” where the information of the whiskies age and other information isn’t disclosed.

Best Whisky From Japan Under $100: FAQs

Which Japanese whiskey won best whiskey?

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Japanese Blended Whisky Limited Edition 2023 won the World’s Best Blended Limited Release at the World Whiskies Awards 2023. This is the fourth time that this particular release has won the award, and the sixth time that an Ichiro’s whisky has won a top award at the World Whiskies Awards.

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain is a blend of whiskies from the Chichibu Distillery, which was founded by Ichiro Akuto, the grandson of Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Suntory. The distillery is located in Saitama Prefecture, about 60 miles north of Tokyo.

The 2023 Limited Edition is a blend of whiskies aged between 3 and 12 years. It is bottled at 46% ABV and has a retail price of around $200.

The judges at the World Whiskies Awards praised the whisky for its “complex and layered” flavors, with notes of honey, vanilla, and fruit. They also said that it was “a beautifully balanced whisky that is sure to please both experienced and novice whisky drinkers.”

Why is Japanese whiskey better?

Japanese whisky is often praised for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship. The meticulous attention to detail, traditional production methods, and dedication to excellence contribute to its reputation.

Japanese whisky distilleries strive for perfection, carefully selecting the finest ingredients and implementing precise maturation techniques. The result is a smooth, well-balanced whisky that embodies elegance and complexity.

Furthermore, Japanese whisky draws inspiration from Scotch whisky while adding its unique twist, creating a distinct flavor profile that appeals to a wide range of palates. Ultimately, it is the commitment to craftsmanship and pursuit of perfection that sets Japanese whisky apart and makes it highly regarded in the whisky world.

Why is Yamazaki so popular?

Yamazaki whisky has gained immense popularity due to its exceptional quality, rich history, and innovative approach to whisky making. As Japan’s oldest whisky distillery, Yamazaki embodies tradition and craftsmanship. Its whiskies are known for their complexity, elegance, and unique flavor profiles, combining the influence of Scottish whisky with distinct Japanese characteristics. Yamazaki’s commitment to excellence, meticulous attention to detail, and the use of locally sourced ingredients contribute to its popularity.

Additionally, its wide range of expressions, including limited editions and aged releases, have garnered a cult following among whisky enthusiasts worldwide.

What is best Suntory Whisky?

Suntory whisky Toki is arguably the best Suntory whisky. It has a sweet and spicy finish and you’ll also notice hints of vanilla oak, ginger, and white pepper.

Is It Cheaper To Buy Japanese Whiskey In Japan?

For certain bottles of whiskey, it might be cheaper to buy it in Japan. But for most others, it’s almost the same price. Plus the prices change from retailer to retailer and can be higher or lower depending on its availability.

But, a decent bottle of Japanese whiskey, it should cost you around $125 – Akashi White Oak Single Malt, Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky, Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Blended WhiskyHibiki Japanese Harmony, Nikka Whisky From The Barrel – are some of the more affordable Japanese whiskey out there!

Is Japanese whiskey the best in the world?

Most Japanese whiskies are the best in the world. Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 from Suntory won the best Japanese whisky title.

Why is Japanese Whisky so good?

Japanese whisky is so good because of the unique elements present in the production of these whiskies. 50% of the Japanese whisky’s characteristics are decided by nature itself.

How to drink Japanese whisky?

You can drink Japanese whisky with a dash of water or on the rocks (with ice). Don’t forget to use the Japanese whisky in making cocktails like scotch sour, rusty nail etc.

What makes Japanese whisky different?

Japanese whisky is usually smooth in texture and the distillation process is carefully crafted and carried out. The grains are mostly imported and the stocks are never exchanged. The disterlleries choose casks very precisely which is the reason for their amazing blend while there are others that choose barrels that hold Japanese liquor.

So that was my list of favourite and best Japanese whisky and distilleries that are world-renowned. Though some of these may be hard to find, the search for them will be totally worth the time.

So keep looking till you find a bottle that you can call your favorite. Cheers!

Also Read:

  1. Here some best Japanese snacks that can go with your favorite whisky or beer!
  2. Here are healthy snacking options from Japan – rice crackers!
  3. Yummy potato chips from Japan you have to try!

Related Articles

You cannot copy content of this page