Welcome to the new dekantā! As you can see we have made plenty of changes and are excited to hear your feedback. New additions include a weekly bartender column straight from Japan as well as more in-depth articles, guides and more.

This has been a good summer for Japanese whisky — customers are literally fighting over it! Japanese whisky is so popular in fact that the industry is now in a situation it has never experienced: serious stock shortages. Nikka sold over a million bottles in Europe alone last year! The surge in sales outside of Japan has forced Suntory and Nikka to restructure their lineups just to meet increasing demand. Hence, a lot of bottles with no age statements are now coming out of their distilleries. One of the more popular is the Suntory Hibiki Harmony, released earlier this year. This month Suntory also introduced the Chita, a grain whisky from their grain distillery, and we expect more to follow from both Suntory and Nikka this month.

The smaller distillers of Japan are also capitalizing on the demand. Monde Shuzo is being aggressively marketed in France after partnering with a French distributor to release a new bottle — the Fujikai — for that market. We at dekantā are getting more and more requests for whisky from these smaller distilleries and will of course try to stock up on the Fujikai.

And Karuizawa bottles are still worth more than gold: This month a charity tasting event in London featuring Karuizawa offered admission tickets for 6.000 pounds (9.200 USD), and each participant got to take home his very own Karuizawa bottle. And if you think that’s a bit much for admission to a tasting event, rest assured that the price of that bottle is likely to skyrocket. Last night, a bottle of Karuizawa 1960 52 Year Old Cask 5627 auctioned at Bonhams in Hong Kong fetched 118.000 USD! A complete collection of Ichiro’s Malt Card Series was also sold at the auction. The price? 489.000 USD.

Despite changes in the industry, here at dekantā the Hibiki remains the king of Japanese whisky, outselling all other products. The runner-up is the Yamazaki, named the best whisky in the world by the 2015 edition of the whisky bible (this was also the first year not a single Scotch made it to the top five) On the Nikka side, demand is evenly divided between the Yoichi, Coffey Malt and Tsuru. We have also seen increasing interest in products from the smaller distilleries such as Shinshu Mars and Fuji Gotemba.

So it’s been a wild summer, but the coming autumn looks promising! We’re looking forward to the new lineups from Suntory and Nikka, and we are also introducing new features on our site. Take a look around to see for yourself.

Henry Baldvin