Pop Culture and Japan

Exploring The Wonderful World Of Mizunara Wood And Japanese Whisky Production

Japanese Mizunara wood whisky barrels.

Japanese whisky has evolved into some of most coveted alcohol on the planet, regularly being sold for thousands of pounds. Much of the appeal lies in finding rare releases from distilleries that are no longer active, how Japanese whisky is produced, and the ingredients used to make it.

A unique production method linked to whisky making in Japan is the use of mizunara wood. Read on to learn about the qualities of mizunara, how it affects the flavour of whisky and why it’s only used for select casks.

Continue reading “Exploring The Wonderful World Of Mizunara Wood And Japanese Whisky Production”

Japanese Whisky Reviews

Yoichi Nikka Single Malt (No Age Statement) Review: Tastes Like Hope

Yoichi single malt no age statement.
Nikka is a powerhouse of the whisky world, constantly innovating and tweaking how it approaches whisky production. Much of the magic happens at the brand’s Yoichi distillery, which has been pumping out acqua vita since 1936, embodying the virtues of Nikka founder Masataka Taketsuru.

So, it’ll come as no surprise that some of Nikka’s greatest concoctions are produced at Yoichi and one of the distillery’s finest offerings is the Yoichi Nikka Yoichi single malt that doesn’t come with any age statement. 

Continue reading “Yoichi Nikka Single Malt (No Age Statement) Review: Tastes Like Hope”

Book Reviews

Brian Ashcraft’s Japanese Whisky Guide Is A Must-Read Book For Whisky Lovers

It’s no secret that Japanese whisky has taken the world by storm, regularly fetching high prices at auctions and earning award after award, captivating the hearts and bank accounts of whisky lovers from all walks of life. But this wasn’t always the case.

There was a time not so long ago when Japanese whisky was looked down on as inferior to other whisky varieties like scotch and bourbon. So, what changed? The answers can be found in Brian Ashcraft’s brilliant Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide To The World’s Most Desirable Spirit.

Packed full of insight and history, this is a must-read book for anyone with even a passing interest in whisky and Japanese culture.

Continue reading “Brian Ashcraft’s Japanese Whisky Guide Is A Must-Read Book For Whisky Lovers”

Japanese Whisky Reviews

Junenmyo Half Decade Review: An Excellent Whisky To Light The Way Towards A Great Drinking Experience

Junemyo Half Decade Whisky is a smoky, gamey delight.

The popularity of Japanese whisky continues to rise, which has led many breweries to come out with rare editions that reflect local culture. The Wakatsuru Saburomaru Distillery, based in Hokuriku, did exactly that with the Junenmyo Half Decade whisky.

With the whisky presented as an extension of the region, it’s made it difficult for whisky fans to get their hands in the Junenmyo outside of Hokuriku. But I managed to track a bottle down in London at Moto, a specialist sake bar that sells rare Japanese drinks. Continue reading “Junenmyo Half Decade Review: An Excellent Whisky To Light The Way Towards A Great Drinking Experience”

Book Reviews

The Complete Guide To Japanese Drinks Review: The Kind Of Book That Will Make You Fall In Love With Japanese Booze

Japan has a long tradition of producing some of the most unique alcoholic drinks in the world. From fruity tasting nihonshu to eclectic shochu, Japanese sake has a rich, complex history that has never been told in full until now. The Complete Guide To Japanese Drinks, written by Stephen Lyman and Chris Bunting, is a comprehensive and engrossing text on Japanese alcohol.

Lyman takes readers on a journey through sake, shochu, awamori, umeshu and Japan’s interpretation of western drinks like whisky and gin. Compelling, informative and rich in detail, The Complete Guide To Japanese Drinks is a must-read book for anyone with an interest in Japanese culture. Continue reading “The Complete Guide To Japanese Drinks Review: The Kind Of Book That Will Make You Fall In Love With Japanese Booze”

Japanese Cuisine · Japanese Whisky Reviews

Suntory Toki Review: A Timeless Japanese Whisky

Japanese whisky features some of the most diverse flavours that I’ve ever tasted from alcohol. In fact, it’s the Japanese variety that has become my gateway into the whisky world. From the fiery punch of Hibiki Harmony, to the milder, sweeter taste of Akashi Tai White Oak Red, I’ve enjoyed making my way through several blends.

Another whisky I’ve been able to tick off my list recently is Suntory Toki. An interesting type of blended whisky, Toki has a mix of flavours that stand the test of time. Continue reading “Suntory Toki Review: A Timeless Japanese Whisky”

Japanese Cuisine · Japanese Whisky Reviews

Akashi Tai White Oak Red Review: Gloriously Sweet And Easy To Drink

Akashi Tai White Oak Red review

Japanese whisky features a range of unique tastes that sets it apart from Scotch and Irish. Whether it’s the fiery punch of Hibiki Harmony or the more subdued flavour of Nikka Coffey Grain, Japan knows how to produce a damn good drink.

Some of the best alcoholic drinks are the ones that take you by surprise and challenge how you thought they were going to taste. This was the case when I had a glass of Akashi Tai White Oak Red. Continue reading “Akashi Tai White Oak Red Review: Gloriously Sweet And Easy To Drink”

Japanese Cuisine · Japanese Whisky Reviews

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky Review: Slow Burn Sweetness At Its Finest

In an effort to broaden my understanding of Japanese culture, I’ve taken to sampling different types of Japanese alcohol. The brewing methods involved in Japanese alcohol are elegant, refined and complex, contributing towards some of the most multifaceted drinks on the market. This sophisticated brewing process is at the heart of why so many different types of Japanese whisky have become popular with western consumers.

Next on my list of Japanese whisky reviews is Nikka Coffey Grain. Made it the innovative Coffey Still that was developed by Aeneas Coffey in 1830, this type of whisky has an exquisite slow burn texture that is perfect for enjoying while sitting in an armchair in front of a roaring fire. Continue reading “Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky Review: Slow Burn Sweetness At Its Finest”

Japanese Cuisine · Japanese Whisky Reviews

Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky Review: A Zesty Drink For A Younger Generation

Suntory has established itself as one of the greatest producers of whisky on the planet. The brand has a versatile portfolio, which ranges from fiery beverages like Hibiki Japanese Harmony, to smoother drinks like the Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve. Sampling new styles from Suntory has become something of a hobby for me and the latest whisky that I’ve tried is the Suntory Chita single grain. Refreshing, smooth and potent, this whisky is ideal for sipping during summer. Continue reading “Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky Review: A Zesty Drink For A Younger Generation”

Japanese Cuisine · Japanese Whisky Reviews

Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve Whisky Review: Herbal Freshness For The Win!

When it comes to Japanese whisky, Suntory is the undisputed king of consistency. Over the years, the brewing giant has created countless blends that have delighted consumers around the world. Western drinkers can’t seem to get enough of Suntory’s attention to detail and craftsmanship. All of their whiskies are brewed with care, and one of the most impressive variants is the Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve whisky. Continue reading “Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve Whisky Review: Herbal Freshness For The Win!”