Japan has become a whiskey powerhouse in recent years and there are an increasing number of brands on the market. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one to buy.
Thanks to the reputation of quality Japanese whisky in international markets, the number of Japanese whiskey distilleries has increased dramatically over the past decade or so. This has resulted in an almost overwhelming selection of new types of Japanese whiskey to choose from. If you’re looking to buy Japanese whiskey, but aren’t sure which one(s) would be best for your palate, here are three tips to help you pick the right one(s).
1. Know your tastes
You may have fallen for that stereotypical image of a single malt Scotch drinker—you know, a wealthy man, in a smoking jacket, with slippers and sandals on. It’s true that scotch can be pricey and is associated with luxury, but there are so many different kinds of whisky to try.
Do your research and go into your liquor store or bar armed with knowledge about what you like—whether it’s smoky or sweet; peaty or fruity; blended or single-malt scotch whisky. Asking questions will help you choose good quality alcohol at an affordable price. Here are some questions to ask: Is it aged? If so, how long? At what temperature has it been aged?
2. Know your budget
Price is, of course, a major factor when buying anything. But there are a few other factors to consider before buying your first bottle of whiskey. For example, it’s important to know if you prefer bourbon or scotch—the two main styles of whiskey in Japan and around the world. Another factor that might determine what kind of whiskey you buy is whether or not you plan on drinking it straight or with water and ice.
Finally, finding one in your price range isn’t as straightforward as it seems either. Some bottles are more expensive because they’re rarer, while others cost more because they’re more popular. The best way to find out which is which? Do some research! You can start by checking out some reviews online or asking friends who like whiskey for their recommendations. Then you can compare prices at several liquor stores near you to see how much each bottle costs (and make sure it fits within your budget).
3. Know how it’s made
Unless you’re drinking it to impress people, it’s probably best to focus on quality over quantity. How is it made? What type of grain was used in making it? What about its age and where were those grains grown? Knowing that can help you narrow your search for a great bottle.
You don’t have to be an expert either—we love Suntory because they’re committed to quality, not just quantity. We also love that their distilleries are open-to-the-public, so visitors can learn even more about how their whisky is made! One way to make sure you get what you want is by asking others who have already tried it.
A quick Google search will pull up plenty of review sites, or if you’re a member of social media communities like Reddit or Imgur, there are likely threads dedicated to discussing different types of alcohol (including whiskey). Those reviews should give you a good insight into what type(s) of flavors each brand has and whether or not they’re right for your taste buds. Reviews will also let you know if there are any additional nuances or characteristics unique to certain brands.