In less than 100 years Japan established and developed a world leading whisky industry renowned for producing unique and high quality spirits - particularly from Karuizawa, Hanyu, Yamazaki and Hibiki.
Japanese whiskies have reminiscent echoes of Scottish craftsmanship, as they were inspired by Scotland's malt masters. Despite this, their whiskies remain distinctly innovative.
With many high profile awards won in recent years, interest and awareness of Japanese whisky has increased significantly in the West, along with demand.
There are a variety of distilleries in operation today that regularly release bottles onto the market and as in Scotland there are also several closed or 'ghost' distilleries that no longer produce whisky but whose remaining stocks are highly sought after.
We feature a wide range of Japanese whisky in our monthly auctions. Whether you are buying to invest or to drink, Japanese whisky has something to offer and is well worth a closer look.
Perhaps one of the most well known of Japan's closed distilleries, renowned for producing incredible sherry cask matured whisky. Since its closure in 2001 the popularity of Karuizawa has grown massively and with the remaining stocks dwindling now is the time to secure your bottle.
One of the first Japanese distilleries to win an international award for their whisky, Yamazaki are also at the head of the pack in terms of volume of liquid produced. Their limited editions and Single Cask releases are particularly popular and growing increasingly rare.
The short lived production of this whisky started in the 1980s and ceased in 2000, with subsequent closure of the distillery in 2004. Luckily the remaining stocks were acquired by Ichiro Akuto, whose bottling series have been widely acclaimed and are much sought after, particularly his Ichiro's Malt 'Card' Series.
Yoichi are famous for insisting on coal-firing their stills (which are modeled on the ones from Longmorn Distillery), and spent a vast sum on a filter to reduce the environmental impact of doing so. The distillery felt that taking the cheaper option and switching to steam or electricity would have a detrimental effect on the character of their spirit, so maintained their coal-firing methods. Kudos!