Most advent calendars are filled with chocolate delights, but, for 2016, it’s time to add a twist to the advent calendar tradition and shake things up with the Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar! The 24 days before Christmas can now be even more exciting for whisky lovers with this innovative advent calendar. Marked for 24 days in random order, this advent calendar box hides a 3cl bottle of luxurious Japanese whisky sample behind each door. Perfect as part of a Christmas tradition in your home or a collector’s piece in a whisky treasure trove, the Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar is a lovely and unique gift for yourself or friends and family who enjoy whisky. Now you can start the holiday festivities with a tasty dram and give yourself a simple luxury every day before the 25th of December!
(SPOILER) Here’s a preview of the Japanese drams (if you really want to know) you’ll receive with this advent calendar, but you won’t know which day you’ll get it! We’ll also share a short description of each whisky so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect with these spirits. Read below if you dare! (Note: List is in random order.)
Nikka Pure Black Malt
A lovely blend of Nikka’s Yoichi and Miyagikyo whiskies, the Nikka Pure Black Malt is an exquisite dram that has a powerful peaty taste with notes of fruit and oak.
The Full-size Nikka Pure Black Malt is available here: Nikka Pure Black Malt 500mL bottle.
Nikka Pure Red Malt
As part of Nikka’s Pure Malt collection, the Nikka Pure Red Malt is another blend of Yoichi and Miyagikyo whiskies, but has a distinct fruity, buttery, and vanilla flavor profile, a gentle contrast to the Pure Black Malt.
Nikka Pure White Malt
Strong peaty goodness is held inside the Nikka Pure White Malt, another grand dram from Nikka’s Pure Malt collection. You’ll get to taste all three of these Nikka Pure Malts (Black, Red, and White) with this advent calendar!
The Full-size Nikka Pure White Malt is available here: Nikka Pure White Malt 500mL bottle.
Hibiki 17 Years Old
As the winner of the 2012 World Whiskies Awards for Best Japanese Blend 13 to 20 years old, the Hibiki 17 Years Old is a legendary pure malt from Suntory. Hibiki is a line of blended whiskies, and it’s also known as the Art of Japanese Whisky because it represents the expertise of Japanese craftsmanship. With a lusciously sweet flavor, the Hibiki 17 Years Old is an elegant, harmonious blend of whiskies from Suntory’s distilleries.
You can find the full size Hibiki 17 Years Old here: Hibiki 17 Year Old 700mL bottle. Other versions of the Hibiki 17 Years Old include:
- Hibiki 17 Years Old Kachofugetsu
- Hibiki 17 Years Old Fuji Edition
- Hibiki 17 Years Old Limited Edition
Nikka Coffey Grain
Named because of the unique and unconventional Coffey column stills that Nikka uses in its distilleries, the Nikka Coffey Grain was made in Miyagikyo Distillery and has a no-age statement. This fascinating grain whisky has a sweet, flavorful taste with hints of smokiness and grains.
Here’s an older version of the full-sized bottle of Nikka Coffey Grainyou can try.
Togouchi 18 Years Old
Togouchi is a highly reputable whisky brand from the Chugoku Jozo distillery, a brewery that specializes in shochu and sake and produces whisky on the side. The Togouchi 18 Years Old has a unique earthy, light fruity taste with rich grain notes.
Love this Togouchi 18 Years Old? Get the full bottle here at Dekanta. Here are other Togouchi whiskies you may enjoy:
White Oak Akashi Blended Whisky
Produced and bottled for the European market, the White Oak Akashi Blended Whisky is a one-of-a-kind concoction of malt whiskies and molasses spirits, giving it tasting notes of rich cherry, cereal grains, and buttery nuts.
Yoichi Single Malt
A Japanese single-malt whisky from Nikka’s first distillery, Yoichi, the Yoichi Single Malt has a distinct peaty and smoky flavor due to the coal-fired distillation used in Yoichi Distillery. The close proximity to the sea and the maritime climate also adds a briny note to the whisky. Yoichi was founded by Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Nikka Whisky, because of the similar environment found in some of Scotland’s whisky regions.
Want more Yoichi Single Malts? Try these:
The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky – Distiller’s Reserve
A no-age statement single-malt whisky from Suntory’s Hakushu distillery! This limited-edition Distiller’s Reserve has carefully chosen single-malt whiskies inside the bottle and features a light melon fruitiness, minty freshness, and a smoky finish that Hakushu whiskies are known for. It’s a refreshing whisky that you’ll love to sip on when the advent calendar day arrives!
Mars Maltage Cosmo
From the Shinshu Mars Distillery, the Mars Maltage Cosmo is a personal and special edition whisky that is a tribute to the distillery’s location. Established at the foot of Mount Komagatake (part of the Japanese Alps), the Shinshu Mars Distillery named this blended whisky the “Cosmo” because of the night sky view you can see from the mountains. This Japanese whisky is made with malts from Japan and Scotland, a different approach to whisky making compared to other Japanese whisky distilleries since many whisky companies do not blend whiskies from other distilleries (other than their own).
Try the Mars Maltage Cosmo Whisky in its full form: Mars Maltage 12 Year Old.
Nikka Coffey Malt
A stunning alternative to the Nikka Coffey Grain, the Nikka Coffey Malt is a blend of malt whiskies distilled in Coffey column stills. Light, fruity, and spicy, the Nikka Coffey Malt is a delightful dram to sip on.
Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky is available in Nikka Coffey Malt 700ml for your enjoyment.
Miyagikyo Single Malt
To provide a variety of whiskies, Nikka’s Miyagikyo is the exact opposite of its Yoichi Distillery. Yoichi is known for pungent peaty flavors while Miyagikyo has softer and sweeter tasting notes like sherry. The Miyagikyo Single Malt is a specialty from the Miyagikyo Distillery and is a sophisticated spirit that will satisfy your whisky-loving tastebuds.
Here are Miyagikyo Single Malts in larger bottles:
- Nikka Whisky Single Malt Miyagikyo
- Miyagikyo Single Malt NAS
- Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo 1989 Single Malt Whisky
The Hibiki Japanese Harmony
Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a blended whisky that truly embodies the flawless harmonizing of at least 10 malt and grain spirits from Suntory’s Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Chita distilleries. The Chief Blender at Suntory, Shinji Fukuyo, wanted to develop a balance between existing Hibiki whisky blends, and that was when the Hibiki Japanese Harmony made its way onto the Japanese whisky market. You can taste a master blender’s Midas touch in this luxurious Japanese whisky!
Hibiki Japanese Harmony Full Bottles at Dekanta:
- Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony
- Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master’s Select
- Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master’s Select Special Edition
Made from a combination of distilled Scottish malts and Canadian grains and matured in ex-bourbon casks in Japan, the Togouchi Kiwami is another gem from the Chugoku Jozo. Fun fact: ‘Kiwami’ means ‘supreme’ (or ‘height’) in Japanese.
Super Nikka Revival
A renewal of the first Super Nikka whisky release, the Super Nikka Revival is a modern-day version of the classic and was produced for the European market. The original 1962 Super Nikka was a tribute to Masataka Taketsuru’s wife, Rita, who passed away in 1961.
Interested in the regular-sized bottle of the Super Nikka Revival? Dekanta has it here!
Yamazaki 12 Year Old
The Yamazaki 12 Year Old is part of the award-winning whisky line from Suntory’s Yamazaki Distillery. Famous for their signature fruity and Japanese oak tasting notes, Yamazaki single malts are internationally acclaimed drams; Yamazaki’s 2013 Sherry Cask even won the title “Best Whisky in the World” by the Whisky Bible in 2015.
Togouchi Premium Blended Whisky
In Togouchi, the Japanese town that the Chugoku Jozo brewery/distillery resides in, there’s an abandoned railway tunnel that’s used to mature whiskies. Made with Canadian grains, Scottish malts, and Japanese whiskies and blended in Japan, the Togouchi Premium Blended Whisky is a harmonious dram that acts as an exhibit for various cultures and whisky flavor profiles for you to enjoy.
The 700mL bottle can be found here at Dekanta.
Nikka Whisky From the Barrel
Though it might be in a small sample bottle, the Nikka Whisky From the Barrel packs a spice-filled, fruity punch! With hints of caramel- and vanilla-like sweetness, this perfect union between Yoichi malts and Miyagikyo grains from barrels creates a full-bodied dram. The small, square bottle symbolizes the ultra-strong flavor that the Nikka Whisky From the Barrel; you only need a small amount to get several satisfying sips from this high-quality Japanese blended whisky from Nikka!
White Oak Akashi 5-Year-Old Single Malt
Eigashima Distillery is known for releasing a small amount of whisky bottles each year (for two months). The White Oak Akashi 5-Year-Old Single Malt was matured in American oak casks and finished in Oloroso sherry casks, giving this Japanese single malt a rich, sweet sherry nose and taste with hints of citrus and ginger spice.
Here’s the standard-sized bottle of White Oak Akashi 5-Year-Old Single Malt!
Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
To commemorate the Father of Japanese Whisky and the founder of Nikka Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, Nikka has a whisky series called Taketsuru, and the Nikka Taketsuru No-Age Statement Pure Malt is a gentle, malty, and sweet spirit that everyone can indulge in.
Find the Taketsuru Pure Malt in a 70cl bottle here.
Okayama Single Malt
And another sake brewery joins the Japanese whisky world! Miyashita Sake Brewery, located in the Okayama Prefecture in Japan, released the Okayama Single Malt in celebration of its 100th anniversary in 2015 as a sake, shochu, and beer company. Whisky production started in 2011-2012 and the goal was to produce a Japanese single malt that was a homage to Okayama Prefecture. A blend of malts from Germany and Japan and matured in brandy barrels, this Okayama-made whisky has a fragrant floral, zesty, and spicy nose and flavor profile.
The 700mL bottle of the Okayama Single Malt can be found here at Dekanta.
The Nikka 12 Year Old
A premium blended Japanese whisky from Nikka, the Nikka 12 Year Old is the 2016 winner of the World Whiskies Awards for the 2016 Best Japanese Blended Whisky 12 Years and Under. This bottle features a lovely blend of Nikka’s finest whiskies to symbolize Nikka’s unique way of whisky making. Even the original bottle is a thoughtful and significant part of this blended whisky. At the top, the bottle has an asymmetrical design like a kimono’s neckline to represent the layers of whiskies mixed in the Nikka 12 Year Old.
You can get The Nikka 12 Year Old in its final version (limited edition!) in a 70cl bottle with the original bottle and label.
Nikka Blended Whisky
Simple and refined, the Nikka Blended Whisky is a no-age statement spirit that has an alluring, intense fruity flavor. Blended whiskies are popular in Japan, and Nikka, being a renowned whisky company, provides some of the best blends in the Japanese whisky market. The Nikka Blended Whisky is a real treat you’ll love when you unveil the bottle during the first 24 days of December.
Nikka Taketsuru 17 Years Old
As the winner of the World’s Best Blended Malt Whisky 2015, the Nikka Taketsuru 17 Years Old is another fine liquor from this famous whisky company. Heavy on the spices and light on the sweetness, the Taketsuru 17 Years Old also has a subtle peaty flavor in the background that becomes more pronounced throughout the tasting.
Full bottles of the Taketsuru 17 Years Old here:
Grab a Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar before they all run out! You can also find full-sized bottles of these popular Japanese whiskies if you’d like to invest in larger bottles of these fantastic drams. Find more goodies for the holidays with our Gift Guides and blog posts on gift ideas for the holidays or other special occasions such as our Japanese Whisky Budget Series.