Bartender’s choice: The forgotten whisky

When it comes to Japanese whiskies Suntory and Nikka are by far the most famous. Other well known whiskies are Mars whisky from Honbu Shuzo, Ichiro´s Malt from Venture Whisky, and of course Karuizawa from Mercin. Another whiskies which used to be somewhat well known abroad are Kirin Whiskies. Lets talk a little bit about that.

In 1972 Kirin, The Canadian company E-Seagram and the British Chivas Regal joined forces and became Kirin Seagram. The following year the construction of the Fuji Gotemba distillery in Shizuoka prefecture was completed and Kirin became a whisky manufacturer. The Fuji Gotemba distillery is an usual distillery, as it produces and bottles both single malt whisky and grain whisky.

Whiskies representative of this distillery include Kirin Sanroku and Robert Brown however I am going to introduce another whisky this time, and this is a whisky called Emblem Whisky, first sold in 1980. At the time it was Kirin´s top quality whisky and was intended to compete with Suntory Old.

When released Kirin had a popular comedian promote its new whisky, but still, most people do not remember it, instead they remember Suntory Old as the finest whisky of the day. Today most people don’t even know of it, even bartenders tend not to remember it, and a few years ago it was pulled from the market.

Still it is well worth remembering as it tastes remarkably different from other whiskies. Other Kirin whiskies have a taste similar to Bourbon while Emblem reminds one more of Scotch. Also, no matter if one drinks it straight or mixed with water or on the rocks, the taste remains the same, it is in short, excellent for making cocktails.

Finally let me introduce an original cocktail made using Kirin Emblem.

Emblem: 30ml

Crème de Cacao Brown 15ml

Whipping cream 15ml

Kahana Royale 15ml

Shake and enjoy a whisky which most Japanese have by now forgotten!