A lot has happened in Japan in the past couple of weeks, with some good news and some very sad news indeed. Today, we’re kicking-off a monthly whisky news series, where we’ll be giving you a brief round up of everything that has been going on, so that you can keep up to date with all things Japanese whisky. This month, we also have a very special mention for a true great of Japanese fashion, art and design who sadly passed away – Issey Miyake.
Rare Japanese Whiskies go to Spink Auction
On Thursday 18th August, Spink International Auction House and Scottish independent bottler and whisky broker, Cask 88, will be running a joint auction, live from Hong Kong, that will feature just under 200 unique bottles of rare Japanese whisky, alongside a number of rare single malt Scottish whiskies and even some top quality casks from some of Scotland’s best distilleries.
The auction is set to attract a plethora of eyes from collectors, aficionados and drinkers alike around the globe, with some of the rarest and hardest to find whiskies from Japan and Scotland set to attract bidding wars.
Curated by legendary whisky expert and personality Daniel Lam, and Cask 88’s Miriam Rune, it is set to be one of the hottest auctions of the year.
Stunning Japanese whiskies, including a Yoichi 1980s set, a limited edition Yamazaki 18 Year Old, a single cask Yamazaki 1996 and a number of treasured Karuizawa releases, such as a highly sought after Karuizawa 28 Year Old distilled in 1975, will be up for bidding, making it well worth checking out if you’re an avid collector of unique Japanese bottlings.
Estimates on the Japanese whisky lots range from $130 USD for three classic bottles of Tory’s blended whisky, to just under $90,000 USD for a two bottle lot made up of the legendary Ichiro’s Malt Card Series Joker bottlings – Colour and Monochrome. These are two of the most cherished and hardest to find releases in Japanese whisky history, so the lot could sell for well beyond its estimate, should the stars align on the day.
It’s set to be a very exciting day at Spink that is well worth checking out, whether you’re looking to buy a bottle yourself or are simply interested to see the results.
Bids are being accepted right up until Thursday 18th August online, then in person at the live auction at 5pm Hong Kong time on the 18th. We advise getting your bids in early on any lots that catch your eye.
Nikka Announces Return Of Yoichi 10 Year Old
Japanese whisky fans around the globe will be delighted to hear that drinks giant, Nikka, responsible for whisky from the Yoichi and Miyagikyo Distilleries, as well as world blended expressions including the hugely popular Nikka From The Barrel, have just announced the return of one of their finest age statement whiskies – the Yoichi 10 Year Old.
It’s been years since this whisky was in production, having been discontinued at the beginning of the now well-documented Japanese whisky shortage. Nikka were one of the worst hit by the supply/demand issues at the time and they quickly stopped producing a number of expressions, particularly those that featured an age-statement.
The company had announced in 2019 that they had ramped up production by a full 20% to deal with the shortage and stated that they expect things to return to normal by 2030.
The return of the wonderful Yoichi 10 is great news for whisky fans for a couple of reasons – firstly, it’s a superb expression that we really have missed, and secondly, and perhaps most importantly, this could be a sign that this is the beginning of the end of whisky shortage, at least as far as Nikka are concerned.
Work Begins On New dekanta Website
At dekanta, we know the importance of modernizing and keeping up with the latest trends. That’s why we’re always working hard to ensure we have the latest Japanese whisky releases available for you, while also making sure you’re kept up to date with the latest industry news.
Now, at 7 years old, we have decided it is time that our website undergoes a refresh, and we have already started work to that end. Planned for release in late 2022, the new dekanta will have all of the same incredible Japanese whiskies and informational content, delivered through a smoother, more elegant and more user friendly experience.
We cannot share too much with you just yet, but keep your eyes peeled for news in the near future. You never know, if you’re a loyal dekanta customer, we may even ask for your input and feedback before launch.
Japan Loses a Legend
In some very sad news, Japan this week lost a legend of art, design and cultural importance in Issey Miyake.
Miyake broke down the boundaries between East and West by seeking to form a comfortable relationship between the body and the fabric as a fundamental concept, both shocking and resonating with people around the globe.
The world famous fashion designer was an innovator who maintained an “anti-trend” stance throughout his career, frequently referring to his designs as clothing, as opposed to fashion. He was most interested, in his words, “in the Human form” and this came across in his unique and elegant designs.
Perhaps best known for creating the mock turtlenecks linked with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, which would go on to become the unofficial uniform of Silicon Valley, he left a lasting legacy that is apparent from everyday casual clothing in Japan to corporate attire in the United States.
A survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, at the age of just 7, he lived a long and fruitful life, sadly passing away at the age of 84.
Today, Japan and the worldwide fashion industry is in mourning, but in the days and years to come, Issey Miyake will always be remembered for the light he brought into the world and his championing of individuality and the beauty of every aspect of the spectrum that is the human form.
Rest in Peace Issey Miyake – one of the greatest Japanese artists of all time.