The Japanese have an innate ability to perfect even the tiniest of details, as evidenced by their achievements in automobile manufacturing, computer technology, and gastronomy. No one expected, however, that premium whiskey would be included. While whiskey distillation has long been associated with the United Kingdom and the United States, the practice has recently taken off in Japan. Here are five basics to know about Japan’s rising whiskey exports.
Japanese Whiskey mimics the scotch process by undergoing two distillations from malted and peated barley before aging in wooden barrels. Single malts and blends of Scotch Whiskey are often drier, smokier, and peatier than their American bourbon and rye counterparts.
The ingredients are from Scotland.
Most of the malted and peated barley used by Japan’s significant distilleries is imported from Scotland. Water supply (the “mythical” water that Yamazaki Distillery utilises comes from mountains near Tokyo), distilling still form, and the kind of wood used in maturing barrels all contribute to the unique flavours produced by the Japanese distilling method. Some distilleries employ foreign bourbon barrels; others craft theirs from mizunara, a tree native to Japan that imparts a unique flavour.
The goal of Japanese distilleries is not uniformity but rather a refinement.
Even experts would have trouble distinguishing between Scotch and Japanese Whiskey in a quality blind-tasting test. To a large extent, they disagree with one another philosophically. Scottish distillers prioritise consistency and pack in additional smokiness to ensure that Scotch continues to taste the same as it has for decades. However, Japanese distillers constantly strive for improvement, and their whiskies tend to be subtler in flavour. To one critic, “Japanese whiskies exhibit a lot of restraint, a lot of elegance, and a lot of technical attention to detail.”
To put it simply, it’s a star on the ascent.
Japanese whiskies are becoming increasingly competitive with their Western counterparts. The World Whisky Awards named the Yamazaki 25 Year the most significant single malt in the world in 2012. Additionally, the Taketsuru 17 Year was named the most excellent blended malt in the world.
It (unhappily) takes a lot of work to acquire.
While demand is rising, supply is still low in the United States. Despite the country’s many distilleries, American consumers must go to Japan to find anything other than whiskies from Suntory and Nikka. The Hibiki 12 years and Hakashu 12 years from Suntory, the Taketsuru 12 years from Nikka, and the Yamazaki 12 years are all excellent entry-level Japanese whiskies; they can all be purchased for roughly $60-$70. You may discover them most efficiently on the internet.
Supports a Healthy Heart
A rich polyphenol content provides a plentiful source of antioxidants. This means that lowering the risk of heart disease in adults can be accomplished by drinking just one glass daily. The cholesterol levels in your blood are lowered as a further benefit.
Advantageous in the War Against Cancer
Whiskey may not be able to eliminate cancer, but it does have certain benefits in the battle against the disease. Its high ellagic acid content serves as a potent antioxidant, soaking up “bad” cells that damage our current cells’ DNA and promote the formation of cancerous tumours.
Advantages of Weight Loss
There is not a lot of fat or salt in whisky. In addition, the sugar contained is rapidly absorbed, which is why drinking whiskey in moderation can aid in weight reduction by boosting energy and reducing sugar cravings.
Sipping some Japanese whiskey afterwards can be helpful if you overstuff your stomach during dinner. Elevated proof levels encourage the production of digestive juices. So, a shot of Whiskey might help your stomach settle and reduce your pain.