Japanese Whisky Survey: Get your voice heard

Despite COVID-19, 2020 has turned out to be a fairly good year for Japanese whisky. Records were broken, it’s now Japan’s most valuable alcoholic export, and the first single malt releases from several new distilleries have been well-received.  

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. At the beginning of the year I sat down with Mamoru Tsuchiya of the Japan Whisky Research Centre to discuss a proposed standard for “Japanese whisky” that addresses the category’s transparency issues. We expected an announcement this year about an industry-led effort. That announcement never came. Meanwhile, international media continues to call attention to those issues.

Looking forward to 2021, it’s evident there needs to be change. As discussion continues here in Japan, I think it’s imperative that we–the international fans of Japanese whisky–communicate our needs to key players in the industry.

Up until now, only our wallets have done the talking. Now it’s time to use our voices too. The results of the below survey will be shared with decision-makers in Japan’s whisky scene, including the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association itself.

What do you like and dislike about Japanese whisky? Have your buying habits changed recently? Are you confused by Japanese whisky? (Yes, I am too). Let’s change that.

As a thank-you for sharing your voice, two respondents will be chosen at random for a 1-year membership to the Nomikai, nomunication.jp’s premium content service. The winners will be chosen on January 15, 2021, so get your entries in before then.

Let’s get this done!


  1. WhiskyDan

    Nice survey, Richard. Nice that you’re digging into the details of what types of laws/requirements a Japanese Whisky Law might look like, and how akin to Scotch or other whisky-making countries a Japanese law may look.

    It’s just so weird to me that Japan – a place that prides itself on hard work ethic, craftsmanship, national pride, etc – doesn’t care that companies import Scotch and other whiskies into the country for bottling and then pass it off as “Japanese.”

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