WHISKEY RIS­ING

SKI - - FRONT SIDE -

A lit­tle more than a decade af­ter the Ja­panese whiskey market col­lapsed, it’s fi­nally be­com­ing eas­ier to find the coun­try’s nu­anced and amaz­ing spirit in the United States. Af­ter sam­pling a num­ber of them dur­ing the Editor’s Choice trip to Hokkaido (page 58), these three stood out as the best ones to try state­side if you’re not headed to Ja­pan any­time soon (but we rec­om­mend tast­ing them in Ja­pan, too).

NIKKA YOICHI SIN­GLE MALT

Yoichi is the only whiskey made en­tirely in Nikka’s first dis­tillery, built on Hokkaido in 1934. The fa­cil­ity uses coal for heat­ing dur­ing the dis­till­ing process, which pro­duces a smoky, slightly peaty, sin­gle malt whiskey.

SUNTORY THE YAMAZAKI 18 YEAR

The Yamazaki dis­tillery is Ja­pan’s first, built in 1923 just off the road that con­nects Osaka and Ky­oto. This sin­gle malt is per­haps the best 18-year whiskey east of Scot­land— rich, lay­ered, oaky, very ex­pen­sive, and worth ev­ery penny.

ICHIRO’S MALT & GRAIN

Made in Ja­pan’s youngest dis­tillery, Chichibu, the Malt & Grain is a blend of Ja­panese, Scotch, Irish, Cana­dian, and Amer­i­can whiskeys aged for one to three years, and im­bued with notes of fruit and vanilla-sweet­ness.

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