The Famous Japanese Whisky

The famous Japanese whisky which is Yamazaki is a single malt Japanese whisky that is enjoyed in over 35 countries all over the globe. Yamazaki’s production was made in Japan’s first commercial whisky distillery which began in 1923. Let us know about ‘The Famous Japanese Whisky’.

The Famous Japanese Whisky

The Yamazki’s Product Range

This brand gives Yamazaki from the hometown of Japanese whisky with “The Yamazaki Range” of whiskies to devour. The collection consists of the whiskies aged at:

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  • Yamazaki 12 years old

The color resembles pure gold. The nose gives a fruity combination of pineapple, peach, candied orange, vanilla with maple syrup, white grapes, and honeysuckle creating smooth and spicy notes. 

The Mizunara Japanese oak adds a unique flavoring to it. On the palate section, one would find subtle hints of spice beneath caramel, cinnamon, coconut, cranberry, and butter. The finish of this 12-year-old whisky is sweet ginger and cinnamon.

  • Yamazaki 18 years old 

Deep amber is the color of this whisky by Yamazaki. The nose gives a port wine with a raisins feel along with coffee notes with a pleasant floral character and a subtle hint of tropical fruit. 

The palate gives a berry flavor with dark chocolate with a winter spice to it. Citrus notes are also observed in the palate. The finish is long with fruit but still finishes spicy and smooth.

  • Yamazaki 25 years old

The color of the whisky is deep amber due to the rare mizunara oak. This spirit offers a nose of flavorsome sandalwood and well-ripened fruit such as strawberry, pear, and citrus. The palate is similarly fruity, and sweet followed by a hint of bitterness in the background topped by the woody facet from the Mizunara. 

Despite a hint of bitterness, layers of rich sweetness and light smoke balance it out. With hints of smokiness and bitterness, this whiskey has a rich, sweet, and long finish. Hazelnuts, pepper, and cocoa are present at their ending in subtle nature.

  • Yamazaki 55 years old 

First, the nose is pungent and very strong. It has a very intoxicating sandalwood character to it. The Yamazaki 55 years old has to be one of the most expensive and best whiskies out there because of its well-designed palate. 

The palate consists of immediate fruity and umami flavors with a smokiness to that list. The finish consists of a sweet but delightful bitter finish that is smooth within the background holding hints of salty notes due to the influence of the mizunara oak.

The Availability and Alternative of the Famous Japanese Whisky

But when Yamazaki is not an option- how does one go about an alternative to find? The Japanese hold drinking alcohol very close to their hearts through celebrations, traditional customs, and more. Hence it is not a surprise that there exist other brands of Japanese whisky to satisfy your palate, and aroma to give the right finish. 

The reason Japanese whiskies have their distinct flavor compared to any other type of whisky you drink- is because of the process. They put so much effort into the making of their whiskies that the product is one in a million at the end of the day. 

Hence the alternatives are given below consist of collections and individual whiskeys to satisfy the palate, aroma, and finish of various preferences.

Stores Like Yamazaki from Japan

  1. Hakushu

To the crowd that is looking for smoky whisky- then consider this your Japanese whisky brand of choice as it will for sure satisfy your palate. The malted barley is peated which makes the apparent choice of buying the highest aged one you find. The Hakushu has four types in this collection. 

  • Hakushu 12 years old: This whisky gives peppermint, pine, Basil, pine needle, and green apple on the nose. Lemon zest, dried flowers, mint, and pine are some of the tasting notes recognized. There is a creamy lavishness and spicy character to its taste. Color is best described as honey diluted gold.
  • Hakushu 18 years old: It is a slightly darker version of the 12-year-old color-wise by being a dark honey shade- the aroma/nose would give us an aromatic invitation by the combination of mint and smokiness to name a few. Orange zest, vanilla, and black tea also make it to the nose category. This 18-year-old whisky has a crisp finish with combinations of tobacco, honey, and chocolate among few.
  • Hakushu 25 years old: This whisky was said to have blown away Jim Murray so this one is for sure a winner. An amber glass gold is how the color goes by.
  • Hakushu Distillers Reserve: This whisky has a subtle smoke with a refreshing finish. . To the nose, there is peppermint, apples, cucumber, vanilla, and the sweetness of corn as well. The palate category gives you a smooth, rich, and crisp finish with-Creme Brulee, lavender, pineapple and so much more.
  1. Akashi Whiskey

Akashi whisky shows the perfect expression of a classic Japanese whisky. Akashi is Japan’s closest distillery towards the coast. From the aroma to the finish, you know this whisky ace’s it in bringing you the Japanese whisky experiences. The brand Akashi whisky gives out three variations through their brand:

  • Akashi Whisky: This whisky has a caramel color that vibrates through it. It has vanilla, apple, lemon zest, and spice as well due to the white pepper in the palate section. On the nose, it gives a spicy and vanilla invite. The finish is mostly bits of malt with vanilla and spice.
  • Akashi Single Malt: This whisky’s color is a combination of amber and gold. The nose gives you a slight fruit with malt, spice, and apricot. The finish would be spice, clove, and malt to name a few. 
  • Akashi Ume: With hints of apricot, honey, raisin jam, and bright plum notes this whisky was inspired by the traditions of Pulm wine also known as Umeshu. This whisky is a playful twist to the Japanese classic.
  1. Taketsuru Pure Malt

The malt gains the name after the founder of the company-Taketsuru, and this serves him as a tribute to the makers. Taketsuru Pure Malt is for the crowd that enjoys a well-balanced malt while maintaining its smoothness and smokiness. The smokiness of the Malt comes from the poised coffee and chocolate combination. Somewhere there are tobacco hints found as well. 

  1. Ichiro’s Malt & Grain World Blended Whisky

A blend from the king of independent Japanese distillers, Ichiro Akuto. In addition to whisky from his own Chichibu distillery, it also includes whiskies from America, Canada, Scotland, and Ireland. As it says on the label – ‘This is worldwide blended whisky’.

This whisky gives delicate light and is slightly thin with vanilla and tropical fruit and flowers in a hint-beginning with a metallic finish. There is a spiciness to this with a tinge of pepper and the peat adds to that process. There is a nuttiness to it as well when it comes to the palate. Color wise it gives an amber plus golden hue. On the nose, the whisky seems quite inviting as it has a sweetness present in it with some apple flavor (fruity sense) to it.

  1. Yoichi

Just like Masataka Taketsuru, Yoichi has a similar background in distilleries. They started with a wide range of premium malts and still provide their customers with. Yoichi has 3 versions that they give out in their Malt collection. 

  • Yoichi Single Malt: The finish for this whisky is smooth and silky which is very impressive and satisfying. With a good balance of the saline and sweetness of a hint of fruits, the spice of black pepper, and with the peat smoke in the background it offers a good finish. The color is that of a golden amber with a hint of yellow.
  • Yoichi Single Malt Non-Peated: The nose category is very satisfying as it gives a combination of orange, honey and coconut are among the few to quote. The palate is of berries, pears, and spice as well. The finish is smooth and rich in flavor due to the mix of peaches and white chocolate but leaves a slight trail of bitterness. There is caramel in the finish as well which is light.
  • Yoichi Single Malt Apple Brandy Wood Finish: Pale yellow is how the color of this whisky can be best described. The nose is best defined as apples with a slight touch of pineapple and in the back, toasted oak and chocolate can be identified. The finish comes about the bitterness of the orange peels with a few other citrus zests present like lemon with licorice and vanilla in the background. 
  1. Hibiki Japanese Harmony

Hibiki is a very close product to the Japanese’s hearts as it represents their nature within the people. It is one of the most highly awarded blended whiskies out there and is also considered to be one of the most prestigious ones in the world as well.

This whisky is smooth with a honey flavor that lingers over but does not overpower the whisky at the same time. With hints of chrysanthemums, apricot, saline, and much more of a combination on the nose, this Hibiki is worth it. Along with the nutty essence, it also gives an earthy sensation with a combination of flowers to the nose. 

In the palate category, this is a winner due to the perfect balance of the flavors of almond, coconut, and fruit. The color of this whisky would go about an amber-honey gold. 


Japanese whiskies are rich and deep in their flavor due to their process. Most of these alternatives help in satisfying by playing the substitute for the famous Japanese Yamazaki whisky. The reason these choices do that is because of giving either a similarity to famous Japanese Yamazaki’s whisky or by showing how diverse Japanese whiskies are in their most cherished and elite form. 

The Famous Japanese Whisky

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