Japan's biggest whisky company, Suntory, owns three of the main distilleries on the island including Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chita, and has been producing whisky since 1923.
The whiskies produced by Suntory are known for their typically lighter, more delicate flavours and texture that complements the refined tastes and traditions of the quintessential Japanese consumer.
The perfect expression of this lighter style can be found in the Suntory Kakubin Japanese Whisky, which is wonderfully light, sweet, and crisp in taste and texture, making it perfect for a whisky first-timer.
Japanese whisky company Nikka owns two distilleries, Yoichi and Miyagikyo, where they produce whiskies that are steeped in the traditional Scottish methods of making whisky.
This means they are renowned for being big and bold in flavour, perfectly showcased in their whisky Nikka From The Barrel, a blended Japanese whisky with characteristics of dried fruits and sweet spices.
Pairing Food with Japanese Whisky
When serving Japanese whisky make sure to follow the principles used in other whisky categories, which is to pour it neat, over ice, or with a splash of water, called mizuwari locally.
Other than the more traditional serving suggestions, Japan is famous for some more interesting local twists on how to enjoy their whisky, including oyuwari, serving whisky with hot water, and haiboru, the Japanese word for a highball or whisky and soda.