For years, Japanese whiskey has struggled for respect and praise; now, it’s on top of the world. A brand called "Yoichi 20 years old" has been voted the best whiskey in the world by Whiskey Magazine, the industry’s main publication. No non-Scottish spirit has ever won before, the Times of London reports, but judges fell for Yoichi’s “explosive aroma” and “amazing mix of big smoke and sweet blackcurrant.”
The $300-per-bottle whiskey was chosen from a blind tasting of more than 200 spirits. Japan did well in general, thanks in part to its use of traditional distilling equipment such as coal-fired pot stills, which have become a rarity in Scotland. “Japanese whiskies performed magnificently and they are really starting to make waves,” said Whiskey’s editor. Yoichi’s top blender said he was “very moved” by the honor.