Reeling in the years with Hakushu Credit: Suntory
Reeling in the years with Hakushu
Credit: Suntory

National tour: 11 Japanese whiskies worth tracking down

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If you haven’t heard about the Japanese whisky shortage, maybe you’ve been living in North Korea. Here comes Esquire.com’s Jonah Flicker with 11 bottles to sample before it’s too late.

Among the tougher-to-score offerings—priced accordingly—is the 18-year-old single malt from Suntory’s rural Hakushu Distillery ($205*). Flicker calls it outstanding, “with fresh notes of fruit and malt, along with just a hint of smoke and dried cherry.”

They’re playing our song

Or how about a 12-year-old Yamazaki ($195), another Suntory number? “The whisky is light with dry spice notes and loads of fruity flavors, easy on the oak with a finish that lingers for awhile,” Flicker says. “Yamazaki 12 is aged in a variety of casks, giving it a nice balance of flavors that, like a well-rehearsed orchestra, complement each other and result in something greater than the sum of its parts.”

Japan is famous for its blends, but let’s do another single malt—Akashi by oceanside White Oak distillery, matured in bourbon, brandy, wine, shochu and other casks. Flicker’s review: “There are competing flavors of toffee and stone fruit that come into play from all the different barrels the whisky is aged in. All of this somehow falls into harmony over its solid malty backbone.” Yours for just $40, while supplies last.🥃

*All dollar figures in USD

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