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japanese whisky

Japanese whisky is an obsession at Cocktail Enthusiast HQ. We fell hard for the alluring spirit, and have been exploring it ever since through 101s, reviews, Tokyo bar visits and even an ice carving class—to better chill our Japanese whisky, of course. See below for all of our Japanese whisky coverage, and stay tuned for more.

Drinking in Tokyo’s Bar High Five

Drinking in Tokyo’s Bar High Five

To say that Bar High Five comes highly recommended is a whopper of an understatement. The Tokyo cocktail den has become a permanent fixture on international best-of lists, and achieved household name-status among bartenders the world over. So on a recent trip to Japan, my two brothers and I decided…read more →

Welcome to the Ice Dojo

Welcome to the Ice Dojo

Japan has no shortage of natural wonders. But for cocktail enthusiasts, one stands out in particular: the baseball-sized, hand-carved ice spheres that chill libations in every bar from Sapporo to Osaka. In April I attended a class at Thirst Boston entitled “Welcome to the Ice Dojo” with the high hopes…read more →

Nikka Introduces Coffey Gin and Coffey Vodka

Nikka Introduces Coffey Gin and Coffey Vodka

Here’s some exciting news. The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company, known for producing some delightful Japanese whiskies, will soon be introducing a gin and vodka. Dubbed Nikka Coffey Gin and Nikka Coffey Vodka, the new spirits will be distributed by Anchor Distilling Company and hit shelves this fall. To be clear,…read more →

Discovering Tokyo’s Bar Cocktail Book

Discovering Tokyo’s Bar Cocktail Book

When I set out for Tokyo, I had my bars picked out. No matter that it was the largest city in the world: I’d made up my mind to spend my nights at must-visit spots like Bar High Five and Zoetrope. But as my two brothers and I walked back…read more →

Whisky Japan: The Essential Guide to the World’s Most Exotic Whisky

Whisky Japan: The Essential Guide to the World’s Most Exotic Whisky

When it comes to American whiskey, Irish whiskey, or Scotch, scribes have had centuries to tell their tales. But Japanese whisky, which was all but unknown to Western drinkers before the 21st century, presents a yawning information gap in desperate need of demystification. Fortunately, English writer Dominic Roskrow has stepped…read more →

Land of the Rising Suntory

Land of the Rising Suntory

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit Japan with my two brothers. We stuck to a fairly conventional route during our two week sojourn: Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka. But there was one detour we couldn’t miss: the Yamazaki Distillery. It was just a 20 minute train ride from Kyoto station, conveniently en…read more →

Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 Edition Japanese Whisky Review

Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 Edition Japanese Whisky Review

Yamazaki has had an interest in sherry since long before its Sherry Cask 2016 hit shelves. Sherry cask whiskey has been part of the distillery’s lineup since 1924, and the experience shows. This Yamazaki Sherry Cask single malt has a deep, reddish-brown hue, unsurprising considering its finish in an Oloroso…read more →

Suntory Whisky Toki Review

Suntory Whisky Toki Review

We’ve been entangled in a pretty serious love affair with Japanese whisky for many years. And just when things start to look stagnant, and we consider moving on in search of some other exciting elixir, we’re met with something new. In this case, that something is Suntory Whisky Toki, the…read more →

Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky Review

Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky Review

Nikka Coffey Malt is not just a poorly translated spelling of “coffee.” (It’s a common question–you’d be surprised.) Instead, it refers to Aeneas Coffey, whose 1930s continuous-still design significantly impacted distilling, and whose eponymous work can be found at Nikka Whisky Company’s Miyagikyo distillery in Sendai, Japan. Nikka Coffey Malt…read more →

New Whisky: Hibiki Japanese Harmony

New Whisky: Hibiki Japanese Harmony

Over the past few years, we’ve fallen hard for Japanese whisky. We’ve explored and sampled some of the best expressions from the storied houses of Suntory, Nikka and Chichibu, and we’re always on the lookout for more. So, good news: here’s a new one. It’s called Hibiki Japanese Harmony, and…read more →

Hibiki 21 Year Japanese Whisky Review

Hibiki 21 Year Japanese Whisky Review

Our love affair with Japanese whisky is a serious affliction. A serious, delicious affliction. And while we’ve sampled nearly every Japanese whisky that’s available stateside, this is our first brush with Hibiki 21. It comes on the heels of our Hibiki 17 review, which found the younger sibling to be…read more →

Hibiki 17 Year Japanese Whisky Review

Hibiki 17 Year Japanese Whisky Review

We’ve had a real thing for Japanese whiskies of late. We’re not alone, as the American cocktail culture has embraced all things Japanese–from whisky to equipment to technique. But more than the allure of drinking faraway spirits, Japanese whiskies simply taste damn good. Hibiki falls under the Suntory portfolio, a…read more →

Yoichi 15 Year Japanese Whisky Review

Yoichi 15 Year Japanese Whisky Review

I begin writing, as usual, with a full glass. I’m fond of doing so. I pour a glass of whisky and do not begin writing until after first enjoying a dram unsullied by the pressures of a blank page. The pressures to write something worthy of the casual reader’s attention as he browses his newsfeed…read more →

Masataka Taketsuru and Nikka Japanese Whisky

Masataka Taketsuru and Nikka Japanese Whisky

We’ve spent time detailing the origins of Suntory, the beverage giant that pioneered Japanese whisky and introduced it to the Western world. Now let’s look at a figurehead whose passion was not profitability, but the perfection of his individual craft and the effect it had on the world around him. I’m speaking of Masataka Taketsuru…read more →

Yamazaki 18 Year Japanese Whisky Review

Yamazaki 18 Year Japanese Whisky Review

Pouring the hot water into whisky, the fragrance suddenly rises in the light of a cold white morning. Lines from a poem by Japanese naturalist Bokusui Wakayama, reflecting on his oyuwari–a drink akin to a hot toddy–as he enjoyed it one cold winter morning. It struck me… read more →

Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Whisky Review

Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Whisky Review

At the beginning of this series, I mentioned receiving a bottle of Hakushu 12 from Cocktail Enthusiast two years ago. Below is the review I wrote. I think it deserves to be revisited, not only because I have revisited the spirit myself, but also to reflect on the context of the time it was written… read more →

Suntory: The Japanese Whiskey that Started it All

Suntory: The Japanese Whiskey that Started it All

This is part two of our ongoing series on Japanese Whisky. To get started, see part one. Suntory. The one that started it all. The beverage company, not the man (we’ll get to him next week.) Suntory’s saga begins in 1899, when after seven years of apprenticeship for a liquor…read more →

An Intro to Japanese Whisky

An Intro to Japanese Whisky

When Cocktail Enthusiast sent me a bottle of Hakushu 12, a Japanese whisky produced by beverage giant Suntory, back in 2012, my attention was captured. Two years and many drams later, my interest has grown into an obsession, all too appropriate for the subject matter. You see, at the time…read more →

Anchor Distilling Introduces Four New Japanese Whiskies

Anchor Distilling Introduces Four New Japanese Whiskies

Late last year, we reported that Anchor Distilling brought Nikka Japanese Whisky to the U.S. market. Namely, the Yoichi Single Malt 15YO and the Taketsuru Pure Malt 12YO. Well, these guys are at it again. This time, Anchor and Nikka are bringing four new whiskies stateside. Each one is an…read more →

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12 Year Old Review

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12 Year Old Review

Back in November, we reported that Anchor Distilling Company inked a deal to bring Nikka Japanese Whisky to the U.S. market. The two expressions include Yoichi Single Malt 15-year-old and Taketsuru Pure Malt 12-year-old. Well, we’ve got a bottle of the latter, so let’s take it for a spin. Nikka…read more →