Japanese whiskey is a unique style of the spirit that’s developed and produced exclusively in Japan. Born in the late 1800s and produced only on a small scale, Japanese whisky had not been sold commercially until 1924 when the country’s first distillery, Yamazaki opened its doors. Did you know that the Japanese spirit is more similar to scotch than any other major whisky style out there?
These days, there are two big whisky producers in Japan, Suntory and Nikka, with a few smaller distilleries spread around the country. The spirits are produced in several types ... single malt, blended and blended malt.
The first person to start “making Japanese whiskey for Japanese people” was Shinjiro Torii, a successful merchant who opened the first ever distillery in Yamazaki, who is also known as the founder of Suntory. He hired Masataka Taketsuru, a beverage artist who studied distilling in Scotland, who ended up being a key to the success of Yamazaki distillery. Later on, he resigned to create his own dynasty, Nikka.
Despite the Japanese whisky production starting in the 1880s, the market for the spirit was almost entirely domestic up until 2001, when Nikka’s 10-year Yoichi single malt was awarded the “Best of the Best” at Whisky Magazine’s awards. Since then, Japanese whiskeys have won numerous awards at competitions all over the world!
In Japan, the blended whisky is mostly consumed in cocktails, while the fine spirits are enjoyed on the rocks or neat. No matter how you prefer your drink, trying Japanese whisky is a must, especially if you are a fan of scotch. Looking for a wide selection? There is no need to worry, ZYN has you covered. Buy a bottle of Japanese whisky at ZYN in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, or buy online at ZYN.ca!