Inside the World of Japanese Whiskies

When people think of whiskies, they tend to think of Scotch made in Scotland, bourbon made in America, or rye made in Canada. However, Japanese whiskies have surged in popularity in recent years and are giving these standards a run for their money. In fact, the Yamazaki distillery in Japan was recently awarded the distinction of having the best single-malt whisky in the world, according to a leading critic, beating out the top distilleries in Scotland. Since then, demand for Japanese whiskies has been growing and more people across the globe are indulging. If you love Japanese food, why not give Japanese whiskies a try? This information will help you pick a bottle.

Flavor Profiles

Many of the people who make whiskies in Japan got their start by training in the distilleries of Scotland, so they bring back many of the distilling and flavoring techniques that are common in Scotch. The whiskies produced in Japan have much more in common with Scotch than bourbon or rye. However, whiskies made in Japan usually are smoother that Scotch.

Though most Japanese whiskies are smoother than Scotches, the flavors vary greatly. Some of them mimic the peaty flavors of Scotches from the Islay region of Scotland, while others are very light, with floral or vanilla notes.

Popular Bottles

Japanese whiskies are changing in response to high demand. Whiskies used to be aged for 12 years or more, but because it became impossible to turn around enough whisky fast enough to meet the demand, younger bottles are flooding the market. Yamazaki 12-year single malt is a highly sought after, peaty pour. Miyagikyo single malt is heavily influenced by sherry flavors and has a fruity flavor with a hint of peat. Akashi is one of the easiest to find and popular Japanese whiskies. The flavors are not complex, but it is extremely smooth, with oak and spice flavors.

For more of the flavors of Japan, visit House of Genji. From our cocktail lounge to our teppanyaki dining, our Japanese restaurant in San Jose has something for everyone. Dial  (408) 453-8120 to find out more about our menu and hours.

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