World's Best Whiskey Comes From... Japan?

Yoichi is first non-Scottish brand to win top award
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2008 8:56 PM CDT
World's Best Whiskey Comes From... Japan?
Japan has become a major producer of high-end whiskeys.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – 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. (Read more whiskey stories.)

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