Japanese whisky is more than just fancy bottles with liquid gold inside! There’s history, culture, and art behind these stunning bottles of silky and luscious Japanese whisky. If you’d like to learn more about the award-winning Japanese whisky, read on to discover more interesting facts about this famed liquor!

1. Whisky is readily available almost anywhere in Japan.

Japan is well-known for its countless vending machines that dispense all kinds of goodies, such as snacks, drinks, and even local produce. But did you know that there are vending machines in Japan that have travel-sized whisky bottles for on-the-go drinking pleasure? (Though we recommend not drinking and driving/walking/or any other activity beside sitting down somewhere in a safe place, preferably your home). These convenient whisky bottles come from various whisky distilleries, and they’re like sampler bottles of whisky that you can try. However, it most likely will be difficult to find rare, more luxurious Japanese whisky in vending machines; but it’s still one way that Japan has made fine liquor like whisky more accessible to the public. In this manner, Japanese whisky is a predominant existence in Japan. And the Japanese love their whisky!

2. Luxury Japanese whiskies with a high price tag are often bought for special occasions and formal business events.

When it comes to whisky in Japan, it can go from one end of the spectrum to the other end when it comes to price and environment. For those who want a single serving of whisky any time, a liquor vending machine is available just around the corner where miniature bottles of whisky are sold. But there’s another side of the whisky culture in Japan: buying high-end, expensive Japanese whisky bottles as gifts for special events like weddings or corporate-centered celebrations. Giving an upscale whisky bottle as a gift is a grand gesture to family, friends, and even business partners.

3. Japanese whisky can be hard to get internationally.

Because of the soaring sales and the overwhelming popularity that Japanese whisky has gained over the years, the rarity of this luxurious liquor has risen as well, making it difficult for whisky lovers around the world to buy a bottle (or several) of the famed Japanese whisky. However, Dekanta makes it easy for you to access hundreds of Japanese whisky brands, so you can experience the joy and culture that every bottle brings.

4. Japanese whisky makers never trade barrels with each other.

Unlike the Scottish whisky producers that trade barrels with each other to obtain the ideal flavor for each whisky they create, the Japanese whisky makers never exchange barrels or other whisky elements. The whisky business in Japan is highly competitive, and every brand has their own secrets when it comes to making the finest whisky. Since Japanese whisky companies don’t share barrels with each other, they have many barrels of different kinds of whiskies or multiple distilleries; for example, the well-known Santory brand makes many types of whiskies by utilizing a wide range of whisky-making methods (e.g., having different barrel types).

5. The Highball is the ultra-popular whisky drink blend that has become a big part of Japanese whisky culture.

For people who want to get the pleasure of tasting whisky, yet not let the overpowering flavors interrupt their meals, the Highball is a special drink that features Japanese whisky mixed with soda water. The soda water helps lighten up the whisky taste, which makes the whisky easier to drink with meals. Many Japanese whiskies are also made to go perfectly well with soda water since the Highball is a major part of the drinking culture in Japan.

6. Blended whisky is the most popular type of whisky in Japan.

Although single malts are recognized for their award-winning taste, blended whiskies are the most acclaimed whiskies in Japan. This could be due to the Japanese culture’s appreciation of and emphasis on balance. Suntory’s Chief Whisky Blender, Shinji Fukuyo, has even commented in an interview that the secret to the perfect Japanese whisky is balance, not boldness.

7. The four major influences that determine how whisky is made in Japan are the water, the climate, the culture, and the customer.

The water used to make whisky can affect the taste just as much as the climate can. As whisky ages over the years, the climate can change and enhance the flavor of the whisky. Although water and climate are essential elements of the whisky-making process, what makes Japanese whisky unique from the other whiskies around the world is the culture and the people behind the whisky. In Japan, attention to detail and balance are the foundations of Japan’s high-quality products, including fine liquor. This is one of the factors that Japanese whisky companies include into their whisky production to appeal to their consumers’ taste. Since Japanese whisky companies primarily cater to Japanese people, it’s important for them to make whisky that fits the culture of the people they sell to. As mentioned previously, whisky is a common beverage that’s eaten with meals in Japan, which means that Japanese whisky companies such as Suntory manufacture whiskies that can be diluted and not lose its taste since their Japanese customers want to drink their whisky with ice or water. Whisky distilleries also focus on producing topnotch whiskies because their customers expect high-quality liquor from them, which is another factor in determining when whiskies are ready to go out to the market.

If this post has piqued your interest in the history and culture behind Japanese whisky, you can find out more about this wonderful creation in our other exclusive blog posts: