Remember these? The most exhaustive Japanese-language resource on the web for Japanese whisky is the aptly-named Japanese Whisky Database wiki. Though a bit tough to navigate at times, the site features a listing of essentially the entire history of Japanese whisky in Japan. That’s every whisky made by every distillery, going back nearly a century! Even the most dedicated Japanese whisky drinker probably hasn’t heard of the more obscure listings.
So I was quite excited last year when the manager of the site released that same data as a set of books across five volumes. The books also go a step further beyond the wiki, in that it the have photos of each and every bottle where possible.
I promptly bought all five volumes. Based on the reactions on Facebook to that post, many of you were wondering how to get the books for yourself. At the time, they were only available for domestic shipping, in Japanese. Not anymore!
I’m glad to share that the site manager has announced an English version of the series. Not only that, but he’s also shipping it internationally now via EMS, and you can pay via PayPal. The English version is a compilation available for 5000 yen — you can’t get any standalone volumes in English — and it’s a beast of 526 pages. But it’s also been updated to be current as of November 2018.
It’s worth noting that while useful, these books are reference materials. They don’t feature any kind of narrative or story to follow, so don’t expect to be able to sit down and read them from cover to cover.
Hi there! I created and run nomunication.jp. I’ve lived in Tokyo since 2008, and I am a certified Shochu Kikisake-shi/Shochu Sommelier (焼酎唎酒師), Cocktail Professor (カクテル検定１級), and I hold Whisky Kentei Levels 3 and JW (ウイスキー検定３級・JW級). I also sit on the Executive Committees for the Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition and Japanese Whisky Day. Click here for more details about me and this site. Kampai!