So what exactly is Japanese Whiskey? When you go to the liquor store you sometimes find it lurking with the Scotch and sometimes with the Bourbon and to my palate it is neither and both at the same time. My sample size has been somewhat limited so I don’t speak from a position of great experience, but it certainly seems to have more in common with Scotch than with Bourbon as it is has less residual sweetness and more of a smoky aspect. I have long seen it sitting on the shelves at certain stores and have passed it by for the most part. Recently I was able to find a restaurant with a decent selection and did some tasting and decided I should put a few of them on my hit list. I returned to the same store and all the Japanese Whiskey was sold out. He said it sat there for a long time without much attention and recently people have discovered it and it is almost impossible for him to get more now that Suntory purchased Beam.
Anyway, I did find some, but didn’t realize the price they were asking. One which I found very good was Hakushu 12 Year and it tips the scales at $85-90 per bottle which is just a bit outside my price range. I top out around $70 for a bottle of liquor and it will take some soul-searching to decide if I am willing to spend outside my comfort zone. Yes, I know Scotch tends to demand a higher price, but I’m a frugal person and bringing myself to pay that price might not happen. Anyway, if you see the Japanese Whiskey and it is in your budget snag it up now, it might be difficult to find later as people discover the quality of spirit they are creating.