As long as you’re a fan of whisky, you’ve probably come across its Japanese permutations. The seasoned Scotch drinker will understand that the craft and composition behind Japanese whisky is quite a different beast from its Western counterparts, but no less enjoyable.
Japanese whisky’s stronghold in its native country has only been around for about a century. The ever-growing industry races to meet the demands of local malt liquor lovers, as well as the increasing attention from the West. In 2015, Yamazaki’s Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 was nominated the best whisky in the world by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, and if there was any authority more valid to cement the Eastern spirit’s presence globally, it is that.
Brands like Nikka, Hibiki and, of course, Yamazaki are popular options to explore, but there are also some exclusive bottlings and less-accessible expressions to venture into, should you find yourself keen on getting a full portrait of Japanese whiskies. One of the best places to do that is rather obvious: The land where it’s made.
Many travellers tend to find themselves in the capital city during their virgin trip to Japan. While many of the country’s distilleries are situated outside of the city, its well worth paying a trip to the well-stocked whisky bars in Tokyo for a tasting tour around the nation’s finest whisky producing factions.
Here are our personal recommendations on the best whisky bars in Tokyo.