- Financial Times •
Japan is home to around 24 bona fide whisky distilleries, but that number is growing all the time. One of the newest is Asaka, north of Tokyo. Formerly an importer and blender, the company began distilling in 2016 and recently released its first whiskies, including dekanta Asaka Aoi Edition, a single-barrel, three-year-old blend bottled exclusively for Japanese whisky specialists dekanta – fragrant and lightly spicy, it shows great promise (£194.99, dekanta.com).
- Imbibe •
Masa adds that the production regulations are in line with what she expected, and that she’s particularly pleased to see how they will help establish a more firm regional style and sense of place for the category. “It sounds simple, but the fact that the spirit must be fermented, distilled, and aged at a distillery in Japan is a major step forward for the category. This particular rule will ensure greater transparency on provenance, something that international consumers have come to expect—given the protections around Scotch whisky, for example—and so allows Japanese whisky to truly enter the global playing field.”
- Wine Enthusiast •
For example, at importer/retailer Dekantā, there are no plans to change which bottles are brought into the U.S., explains founder and director Makiyo Masa. However, many products will be recategorized or relabeled to conform to the new standards, she says. “Products that are known to contain both Japanese and imported whisky will be listed as ‘world blends,’” says Masa. “Any spirit that cannot be labeled as Japanese whisky under the new standards will be listed as being of ‘unspecified origin.’” This likely will apply to “less than 40%” of Dekantā imports, she estimates.
- WhiskyCast •
Japan’s whiskies have been getting more attention on the world stage. While some “Japanese Whiskies” are rightly winning awards in major competitions, others with the same label are often Scotch or Canadian whiskies imported into Japan – where there’s no legal definition for what is a “Japanese Whisky” and what isn’t. Now, Japan’s whisky makers are stepping in where the government has so far failed to act, creating an industry-wide definition requiring that whiskies labeled as “Japanese Whisky” must actually be distilled in Japan. We’ll discuss the new standards with Makiyo Masa of Dekantā, one of the largest online retailers specializing in Japanese whiskies.
- The New York Times •
While many of the premier brands, like Yamazaki and its 18 Year Old, point out that they are made exclusively in Japan, others refuse to say. “It puts Japanese whisky’s reputation at risk,” said Makiyo Masa, the founder of Dekanta, an online retailer.