We are delving into the world of Japanese whisky, taking a look at what makes it one of the most talked about drinks on the market!
Yes, you heard it right, Japan is the up and coming force in world whisky. Gone are the days where sushi restaurants would be the only provider of Japanese beverages, with them now being a crucial part of any bar’s armoury.
Inspired by scotch whisky, the world has Masakata Taketsuru’s obsession with the Highlands blends to thank for the Yamazaki and Hibiki that we enjoy today. The legend has it the chief distiller of Yamazaki vowed nearly 100 years ago upon completing a tour of Scotland to not give up until he had made Japanese Whisky the world’s best – well he’s now not far off!
But which one?
Yes, there is now a vast array of Japanese whisky to choose from, but personal favourite at Cheers London is the 18 year Yamazaki. A texture to match the finest Scotch out there, drink it neat, and let it guide your night.
Of course, you should not limit your palette there. Hibiki and Nikkei stand up to the very finest of tests, and should not be ignored!
Article by John Kent
Whisky is the latest of our featured drinks, and comes with more complications then getting around London on tube strike day. Have no fear though, as we guide you through the basic steps in our idiots guide to whisky.
1) Whisky vs Whiskey
Trying to impress someone by ordering a sophisticated dram of whisk(e)y? Rule number one, don’t get the nationality wrong! Scotland and Ireland have dominated the distallary scene for years, and pride runs strong through the veins of both nations! It really is simple though:
- Whiskey – the ‘e’ signals an Irish/American origin
- Whisky – spelt without an ‘e’ means it is scotch based, and therefore originates from our Northern neighbours
One simple piece of knowledge ensuring you survive a night out in an Irish bar!
2) Peaty vs Smokey
The pre-eminent aromas of whisky language! Get this one wrong and your facial expression will immediately give away your disdain to the flavour. Choose your weapon wisely!
I will keep it simple – peaty flavour is like the tabacco of the cigar, whilst smokey is well, the smoke part!
3) To Ice or Not To Ice? That is the question
A certain amount of respect goes out to any customer who orders a whisky neat, yet there is a certain sense of Je ne sais qoui about ordering ‘on the rocks’.
Which is for you though?
Much debate surrounds this topic, but in my mind it is best to keep it simple!
- Expensive: neat
- Cheap: on the rocks
- hardened drinker: neat!