Whether you’re looking for a holiday gift for someone special or you want to build your liquor collection with high-quality Japanese whisky, we introduce to you our Japanese Whisky Budget Series where you can find whiskies at different price ranges that fit your needs. You can also use this series as a gift guide for year-round events, from birthdays to important celebrations. In this blog post, we’re featuring Japanese whiskies from the $8,000 to $15,000 price range. (If you’d like to learn about the most expensive Japanese whiskies in 2016, check out our other blog post here.)

  1. Karuizawa Five Decades 1960-2000

Price: $14,999.99

Five decades worth of aged whisky is bottled in this elegant decanter! The Karuizawa Five Decades 1960-2000 is a rich single malt and has a whopping 64.4 percent alcohol strength. This whisky bottle represents the last of the Karuizawa Distillery, and a total of 200 bottles were released; some were given to the Isetan department store in Shinjuku as a commemoration prize. History and liquid gold you won’t find anywhere else is what puts this rarity at such a high stake.

  1. Ichiro’s Malt Colored Joker and Monochrome Joker Set

Price: $14,999.99

Hanyu Distillery’s highly sought-after Playing Card Series has scattered around the world and has become one of the most desired, collectible whisky collection in the world. Hanyu Distillery shut down its whisky operations, but left behind a legendary stock.

The original Playing Card Series has a total of 54 bottles, and the complete collection even sold for nearly $490,000 in a Bonhams Hong Kong auction. Dekanta has several bottles from the 54-bottle Playing Card series. This particular set features the Colored and Monochrome Jokers, equalling almost $15,000 as a set. Find more rare Hanyu bottles here.

  1. Suntory Limited Edition The Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary

Price: $13,499.99

To celebrate the famous band, The Rolling Stones, and their 50th Anniversary, Suntory released 150 bottles of this limited edition whisky. The whisky was blended with a variety of spirits from the Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chita distilleries to represent a significant year in the band’s career. For all Rolling Stones fans and whisky lovers, this collector’s bottle makes a rockin’ addition to your collection. The crystal glass bottle is even designed with the lips and tongue logo to truly symbolize the partnership between the Rolling Stones band and Suntory.

  1. Saburomaru 1960 Single Malt 55 Years Cask Strength Whisky

Price: $14,499.99

Known as the oldest whisky released, the Saburomaru 1960 55-Year-Old Single Malt Single Cask Whisky is a one-of-a-kind bottle you won’t find often. This whisky was distilled in Wakatsuru Distillery, which is a distillery you most likely haven’t heard of before.

This distillery has been releasing whiskies on and off throughout the years since 1952, and only a certain amount of bottles are sold per release. This particular bottle is part of 155 bottles that was offered to the public. Made with elegance and a hint of traditional Japanese design, the bottle makes a stunning display. You can store the bottle in the rustic wooden box included.

  1. Karuizawa 1972 40-Year-Old Gold Dragon Label Whisky

Price: $13,229.99

Another bottle from the silent distillery, Karuizawa, the 40-Year-Old 1972 Gold Dragon Label Whisky is a treasure to behold. Featuring a golden dragon design on the label, this vintage whisky makes a great addition to any collector’s treasure trove of whisky goods.

  1. Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Ghost 8

Price: $8,999.99

The Ghost Series from the Ichiro’s Malt line is another well-known whisky collection, and the Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Ghost 8 is one of the bottles of this series. What’s unique about the Ghost 8 is that it features one of Taiso Yoshitoshi’s ghost artwork from the “New Forms of 36 Ghosts” Japanese woodblock print collection. This bottle features the 8th print from the 36 Ghosts, and it’s titled “Kintaro Observes the Big Carp.” Each of Yoshitoshi’s work is based off Japanese folklore.

“Kintaro Observes the Big Carp” is about a boy who watches a giant carp monster in the water and wants revenge because the carp ate his mother. Kintaro wrestles the carp in the water and reveals that he has a hidden knife to take his revenge against the monster. This is one of the variations of this story, and Yoshitoshi reimagines it through his work.

Here’s the Karuizawa Ghost Series Set for a whopping $115,000!

  1. The Nikka 40-Year-Old Premium Blended Whisky

Price: $8,499.99

Here’s an exquisite blended whisky that contains the oldest whiskies available at the Nikka distilleries! The 40-Year-Old Premium Blended Whisky includes whisky from Yoichi 1945 malt and Miyagikyo 1969 malt. But this bottle holds more than decades of matured whisky – it also is the special commemoration bottle for Nikka’s 80th anniversary in the whisky business.

The blended whiskies create a beautiful harmony that will satisfy your nose and palate beyond your expectations. Silky and flavorful, this whisky gives you an experience you won’t forget and is well-worth the price tag. This elegant whisky bottle comes with an equally elegant drinking glass to give you a complete whisky-drinking set.

  1. Karuizawa Mercian 21-Year-Old Whisky in Granite Decanter

Price: $8,799.99

In celebration of Japan’s Crown Prince’s (Naruhito) wedding in 1993, Karuizawa created this sophisticated and luxurious granite decanter that holds 21-year-old whisky inside. The decanter features gold flecks and marble spiral designs to add an extra elegant touch to the bottle. Combining history, culture, and whisky love together, the Karuizawa Mercian 21-Year-Old Whisky in Granite Decanter is a timeless addition to your collection. This bottle is one of 100 bottles released, so it’s quite a rare item to discover and have in your possession.  

  1. Karuizawa 1971 41-Year-Old Geisha Label Cask #7267

Price: $10,199.99

Karuizawa was known for its incredible whisky series, and the Geisha collection was one of the most prominent ones produced from the now-closed distillery. Distilled in 1971 and bottled in 2012, this whisky bottle contains aged whisky from a single cask that was aged for 41 years. This bottle features an elegant geisha, a traditional Japanese artist who excelled in the world of dance and music, reading a book while bathing in fresh air and Mother Nature’s beauty. For a taste of rare whisky and Japanese culture, this lovely Geisha-themed bottle makes an exquisite addition to your bar.

  1. Yamazaki 2013 4-Bottle Set

Price: $10,199.99

Suntory, an award-winning whisky company that’s been around for more than a century, has combined some of its best single malts from Yamazaki Distillery. This 4-bottle set is worth over $10,000 and gives you a rare and luxurious sample of the single malts that Suntory are famous for. It’s also a commemoration collection to celebrate Suntory’s 90th anniversary. This set even includes the 2013 Sherry Cask Single Malt that won the title “World’s Best Whisky” by the Whisky Bible in 2015. Each bottle has its own unique flavor profile to give you a variety of whiskies to try; you can also get this set and wrap each one as a gift for the whisky fanatics in your life.

This is only one of several budget series. If you’d like to learn about other whiskies that fall within a specific budget or want the perfectly priced whisky gift for the whisky lover in your life, be sure to read the other Japanese Whisky Budget Series posts on our blog!

Emily