A few days ago I updated the Japanese Alcohol Data Library with the latest numbers. Now that we have figures from the first half of 2021, we start to get a picture of what the whole year will look like.
26 billion! That's just a hair short of the total for all of 2020: JPY 27.1 billion. And way past the total for any other year on record. And it's way past exports of Japan's beloved fermented beverage, sake, at JPY 17.4 billion.
So despite the continuing spread of the Delta variant worldwide, and despite Japan recklessly charging forward with Tokyo 2020, if this trend continues, the value whisky flowing out of Japan should break 2020's record by a long shot.
And it's not just the value. It's the volume too. 2020 saw 9.2 million liters of whisky exported. In 2021 so far, there have been 6.68 million liters exported.
"But Whiskey Richard, you whine about 'fake' Japanese whisky all the time. Is what's being exported really Japanese whisky?"
No! Some of it isn't! I'm avoiding calling what has been exported "Japanese whisky" because that's now a (very loosely) protected term.
There simply isn't any recent public data available about the relationship between imported bulk whiskies and the export of whiskies from Japan.
What we can say though is that the world simply can't get enough of the whisky coming out of this country.
Head on over to the data library for fully interactive versions of all of the above graphics!
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!