Recent Posts

Furusato Nozei: Japan’s government-sponsored booze

Furusato Nozei: Japan’s government-sponsored booze

Background: Local taxes in Japan Like many other countries in the world, residents of Japan pay taxes on their income at three levels: national, prefectural, and local. In the US this equates to paying federal, state, and city income taxes (14 states have places with […]

Shizuoka Distillery begins all-Shizuoka whisky production

Shizuoka Distillery begins all-Shizuoka whisky production

The Shizuoka Distillery recently posted details of their all-Shizuoka whisky on their blog, giving us more insight into what’s going on behind the scenes at one of Japan’s newest craft whisky distilleries. Up until now, Japanese whisky has generally used imported ingredients, though the actual […]

Whisky pens: Pure Malt Jetstream Inside

Mitsubishi Pencil’s uni Jetstream series of pens is adored worldwide. The purported “answer to every negative stereotype you ever had about ballpoint pens,” the uni Jetstream is also wirecutter.com’s Best Pen for 2018. Now the worlds of wonderful penning and whisky are colliding, as uni […]

Kinmon Akita brings whisky into the world of aged sake

Kinmon Akita brings whisky into the world of aged sake

The Kinmon Akita Sake Brewery has revealed some aged sakes due out on December 17th that supposedly have a whisky finish. This, combined with the long maturation of 10 to 30 years — ultra long for sake — should bring about some rather unique flavors. […]

Single Malt Okayama for Tenmaya 200th Anniversary

Single Malt Okayama for Tenmaya 200th Anniversary

Nikkei reports that Okayama’s Tenmaya department store is teaming up with the Okayama Distillery to do a single-cask whisky release over the course of the next decade. Tenmaya will celebrate their 200th anniversary in 2029. The plan is for the Okayama Distillery to release 100 […]

Masataka Taketsuru: Independent at Yoichi Distillery

Masataka Taketsuru: Independent at Yoichi Distillery

2018 marks a century since the founder of Nikka Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, set out on a journey that would alter the history of Japanese whisky. Based primarily on his serialized autobiography originally¬†published in Nikkei in 1968, in Part Eight Taketsuru strikes out on his own […]

10 ways to drink Japanese whisky: #9, Half Rock

10 ways to drink Japanese whisky: #9, Half Rock

As Japanese whisky makers enjoy their time in the worldwide spotlight, more and more people are waking up to the reality that Japanese consumers may also know a thing or two about the ways to drink Japanese whisky. Of course there’s the izakaya staple whisky […]

Event Report: Gin-Posium Japan 2018

Gin-Posium Japan 2018 was held on November 25, 2018!

Event Report: Whisky Festival 2018 in Tokyo

Event Report: Whisky Festival 2018 in Tokyo

Last weekend was that time of year again! Whisky Festival 2018 in Tokyo. This year’s festival was held over two days for the first time, but as I had other obligations on the 25th, here’s my report from the 24th. Jump to:Introduction: The future of […]

Masataka Taketsuru: Japanese whisky’s dark early days

Masataka Taketsuru: Japanese whisky’s dark early days

2018 marks a century since the founder of Nikka Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, set out on a journey that would alter the history of Japanese whisky. Based primarily on his serialized autobiography originally¬†published in Nikkei in 1968, in Part Seven Taketsuru gets to work making whisky […]


Product Releases

Whisky pens: Pure Malt Jetstream Inside

Mitsubishi Pencil’s uni Jetstream series of pens is adored worldwide. The purported “answer to every negative stereotype you ever had about ballpoint pens,” the uni Jetstream is also wirecutter.com’s Best Pen for 2018. Now the worlds of wonderful penning and whisky are colliding, as uni […]

Kinmon Akita brings whisky into the world of aged sake

Kinmon Akita brings whisky into the world of aged sake

The Kinmon Akita Sake Brewery has revealed some aged sakes due out on December 17th that supposedly have a whisky finish. This, combined with the long maturation of 10 to 30 years — ultra long for sake — should bring about some rather unique flavors. […]

Single Malt Okayama for Tenmaya 200th Anniversary

Single Malt Okayama for Tenmaya 200th Anniversary

Nikkei reports that Okayama’s Tenmaya department store is teaming up with the Okayama Distillery to do a single-cask whisky release over the course of the next decade. Tenmaya will celebrate their 200th anniversary in 2029. The plan is for the Okayama Distillery to release 100 […]

Amahagan World Malt Edition No.1 from Nagahama Distillery

Amahagan World Malt Edition No.1 from Nagahama Distillery

Spell Nagahama backwards and you get Amahagan, the name Nagahama Distillery has chosen for their experiments with blending. We know that they’ve been fiddling around quite a bit with their peat levels at Japan’s smallest whisky distillery, so it looks like they’ve begun trying their […]

Kayuki Ume Spirits from Nakano BC

Kayuki Ume Spirits from Nakano BC

Umeshu is often mistranslated as “plum wine.” Plum liquor is a more accurate term. It’s made by letting plums steep inside of a neutral spirit such as korui (multi-distilled) shochu. As there isn’t any actual fermentation or distillation going on when making the umeshu itself, […]