2015 is coming in a few days, and to celebrate this new year, we invite you to discover our 10 favorite japanese whiskies of 2014 ! We made our selection among all the references available in Europe so that you can decide to taste it or not.
Since we discovered Japanese whiskies, we had the opportunity to taste a wide range of different Japanese productions. With this non-exhaustive selection of single malts, blended whiskies, single grain and other Japanese blended malts, we leverage this experience to offer you our 5 favorites, plus our common best japanese whisky of 2014.
Frederic's 5 favorite japanese whiskies of 2014
"Fuji Gotemba Distillery is primarily known for its blended and grain whiskies. As such, it produces only one single malt but produces it very well : smooth and balanced, this 18 year old whisky really deserves a wider interest. This is certainly one of my collection of whiskeys which the bottle is emptied as soon... Its only weakness ? Unfortunately, its high price due to scarcity"
"In Europe, the Nikka From The Barrel is one of the Japanese whiskies that any lover should have, in order to discover the charms of Japanese whiskies. Rich, creamy and surprisingly mild despite its high alcohol content, it's really a whisky from which I always take pleasure to return."
"Released this year in France under the name of Distiller's Reserve, it's a no age version which magnifies the signing of the Hakushu distillery vegetal and fresh as ever, in my opinion it surpasses his cousin Yamazaki whisky with bringing more finesse and character."
"Mostly adopted by bartenders who use it as a base for many cocktails, the Nikka Coffey Malt also deserves to be savored neat to enjoy its delicate pastry flavors. An original whisky to discover !"
"This is my first historically Japanese whisky, so it has a special place in my selection but also objectively an excellent whisky which demonstrates that the Japanese know how to handle peat with strength and subtlety at the same time."
Nicolas's 5 favorite japanese whiskies of 2014
"This single malt is a delicious nugget, one of the world's best in its class I think. Creamy, fruity, delicious and mostly made from whiskies aged in sherry casks, it is widely better than the recently crowned Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013."
"Hibiki 12 year old is a real must, a perfect balanced blend. Its sweetness captivated surely even the most resistant to whisky. A beautiful work of blend using Yamazaki and Hakushu single malts vatted with grain whisky. The result is a wild range of varied aromas whose main characteristic is the fruityness."
"I selected the Taketsuru 21 year old because it has a wonderful texture combined with rich aromas, that comes from the blend of the best single malts from Yoichi and Miyagikyo. I had the opportunity to taste it in all its released versions, including the recent Madeira and Port wine limited editions, but I think that the classical 21 year old version is the most attractive of all."
"Because whisky is not only single malts or blends made from malted barley, I chose a single grain which is almost entirely made from corn as US Bourbons. The result is rather atypical flavors and an incomparable freshness. The Coffey Grain is still a too little known whisky which deserves to be tasted."
"This single malt from the ashes, and surprised me by his maturity. Indeed, it is older than 3 years old but is already developing a range of complex aromas that could be found in much older single malts. March Whisky and Distillery Shinshu have become essential."
Our common special choice of 2014
"Available in Europe since the end of last year, Yamazaki Mizunara 2013 is probably the most Japanese of all Japanese whiskies. Its aromas are reminiscent of Asia with its notes of ginger and its finely spiced profile. I find also the bottle very charming !"
"The Yamazaki Mizunara 2013 is truly our favorite of 2014 ! This single malt entirely made from whiskies aged in the very rare and precious Japanese oak casks, can be considered as the most Japanese of all whiskies, even more with its traditional paper label. It is also excellent, especially by its exotic aromas of sandalwood, ginger, orange bitter and Mizunara that are found only in this limited edition."