The 10 Best Japanese Whiskey Picks You Have to Try

The best Japanese whiskey hits a lot of different benchmarks. First, it has to taste extraordinary. You aren't called the best if you can't back it up. Also, you have to have a great combination of flavors.

And there's more to this drink than meets the eye. But, before diving into the best Japanese whiskey, it's essential to understand what whiskey is in the first place.

What Is Whiskey?

Whiskey is alcohol that's aged in barrels and distilled from grain. Whiskey only gains its taste from its barrel. If you add artificial flavors, it's not authentic whiskey. Also, whiskey may gain its flavor from barrels that have carried multiple types of whiskey.


This combination is what makes certain whiskeys so full of flavor.

So, with a basic knowledge of what whiskey is, what is the difference between Japanese whiskey and other types of whiskey?

The Difference Between Japanese Whiskey and Other Types of Whiskey

The varying climates and environments around the world are what give whiskeys their different flavors. For instance, America grows a lot of corn. This abundance of corn leads to an uptick in whiskeys using rye and gives American whiskeys a slightly sweeter taste than other countries.


On the other hand, Japanese whiskeys tend to use either 100 percent malted barley or blends.


These differences also extend to the barrels. In the USA, oak is a common commodity. So, new oak barrels are the most plentiful. These give off an entirely different flavor than older, re-used barrels.

These two differences create vastly different types of whiskey around the world.

10 Best Japanese Whiskey Selections Available Now

Below are the 10 best Japanese whiskeys available now. They bring you a wealth of flavors and tastes that will both shock and awe you.They're all fantastic drinks, so find which one you suits you the best.

1. Nikka Coffey Malt

The best Japanese whiskey contains a blend of flavors that makes your mouth happy. Made from 100 percent malted barley, this whiskey tastes of vanilla and caramel. Although the name suggests a coffee taste, that's the last thing that will come to mind when you drink it

.

It also shows signs of a bourbon flavor as well.

It also leaves a wonderful feel in your mouth. The best whiskey gives an oily feel and is hard to beat.


2. Ohishi Single Sherry Cask

The distilling process of alcohol shifts from region to region. For the Ohishi Sherry Cask, Ohishi decided to use two types of rice for its process -- gohyakumanishi and mocha. While some people don't like the idea of distilling with rice, the results speak for themselves with the sherry cask.


It produces a fruity flavor that is hard to ignore. Indeed, Ohishi has a hit on their hands with what some consider to be the best Japanese whiskey.


3. Hakushu 18

Made by Suntory, Hakushu 18 hits on a few flavors that many find quite pleasing. When you take a sip of this outstanding malt, you taste wisps of fruit.


Specifically, you taste a tad of dried cherry and an almost-smoky aftertaste. Best with a whiskey glass, Hakushu 18 is picked by many as the best Japanese whiskey they've ever had.

4. Yoichi Single Malt

The Yoichi Single Malt contains a handful of tastes that leaves your mouth wanting more. With a distillation process that includes coal, the malt possesses a smoky quality.


Along with this smokiness, peach and honeydew are the flavors at the forefront of the drink and will amaze you with the first sip. Created by Nikka, the Yoichi Single Malt takes your breath away and may be the best Japanese whiskey available on the market today.


5. Nikka Whiskey from the Barrel

The distilling process of alcohol shifts from region to region. For the Ohishi Sherry Cask, Ohishi decided to use two types of rice for its process -- gohyakumanishi and mocha. While some people don't like the idea of distilling with rice, the results speak for themselves with the sherry cask.


It produces a fruity flavor that is hard to ignore. Indeed, Ohishi has a hit on their hands with what some consider to be the best Japanese whiskey.


6. Yamazaki 12

Aged in a number of different casks, Yamazaki 12 shines and delights with its light and dry, spicy taste. Along for the ride with the spicy flavor is a hint of fruit as well. The oak taste from the barrel is almost non-existent, and the finish of the whiskey stays around for some time.


A delightful Japanese whiskey, it brings joy to millions the world over and likes to think of itself as the best Japanese whiskey.


It resonates with customers as one of the best as well. 

7. Suntory Whiskey Toki

Probably the most accessible Japanese whiskey to find on the market today, Suntory's Whiskey Toki is a blend of malt and grain whiskey. The Haskushu white oak cask malt and Chita grain whiskey, make for a splendid whiskey that burns in all the right ways.


You should know that it's a light whiskey, so sipping isn't necessarily required to enjoy the taste. An outstanding drink on its own, Suntory's Whiskey Toki is an excellent choice if you're looking for the best Japanese whiskey. You can even add some ice cubes for a truly amazing experience.


8. Hibiki 17

Another whiskey considered to be the best, Hibiki 17 won't let you down. Hibiki 17 is an interesting Japanese whiskey because it's what's regarded as a "blended whiskey." In simple terms, sometimes Japanese distilleries create many different whiskeys and blend them into one final product.


This final "blended" whiskey is quite popular in Japan and is a hallmark of the country.Hibiki 17 brings with it a flavor that's rich and creamy. With an almost buttery taste and hints of caramel and peach, Hibiki 17 is a treat.


It's a special kind of whiskey and deserves consideration when talking about the best Japanese whiskey.

9. Chichibu Port Pipe

Coming from a small distillery, the Chichibu Port Pipe whiskey packs a powerful punch of sweetness within its bottles. You may balk at the idea of a semi-sweet whiskey, but you'll be blown away by what the Chichibu Port Pipe has to offer.


Although this whiskey is challenging to find, you should make every effort you can to find it. With a taste that mimics the sweetness of candy, it's worth seeking out this fantastic Japanese whiskey.


10. Iwai Tradition

One of the easier Japanese whiskeys to find, Iwai Tradition uses a combination of alcohol casks to create a mesmerizing flavor. Using bourbon, wine, and sherry casks, they create a whiskey flavor that includes vanilla, spice, and a little beat of peat.


A fantastic combination of flavors, Iwai Tradition rightfully takes its place on many lists that talk about the best Japanese whiskeys. And, if you want to get the full experience of Iwai Tradition, store it in a whiskey decanter.


Try One of These Whiskeys Today

It's worth your time to try out some of these whiskeys. Each one is bursting with flavor that you won't soon forget. Some may be hard to find, but they're worth tracking down.


The best Japanese whiskey isn't just a drink; it's an experience. Don't deprive yourself of this experience and try one of these Japanese whiskeys today.

Have you ever had Japanese whiskey? Tell us what you thought about it in the comments.

Featured Image source: Pexels



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