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Consolidated "Buy Whiskey in Japan" thread (was: Haneda/Narita Duty Free Whiskey)

Consolidated "Buy Whiskey in Japan" thread (was: Haneda/Narita Duty Free Whiskey)

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Old Dec 16, 16, 8:02 pm
  #466  
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
Found a couple of cases of Hakushu 12 single malt for $69 at our local costco today. Seems like a good starter bottle
The $69 bottles of 12-year at Costco are nice finds. I rarely see it under $90.

Reminds me, the ANA Duty Free shop also had the "Master's Select" Hibiki Harmony for something like 10k JPY. That's not that much more than plain old Harmony is around the WAS area. Definitely not the typical 100% markup the Duty Free bottles seem to be these days, anyway.
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Old Dec 18, 16, 3:58 pm
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The Japanese whisky price definitely went through the roof in the past two years. Most of the bottles with age statement are so overpriced now it makes me think twice before buying a bottle. For instance, a bottle of Talisker 18 is only Y9,900 and any Japanese bottle with 18 on it will be at least Y25,000. I picked up a bottle of Talisker 18 without any second thoughts.... I did find few bottles of Hibiki 17 for Y12,000 with tax each the other day but didn't pull a trigger since I knew I could get Talisker 18 for less....
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Old Dec 26, 16, 7:22 pm
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They have Hakushu 12 at SFO Costco. $69. Only about 12 bottles left.
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Old Dec 27, 16, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by james21_h View Post
The Japanese whisky price definitely went through the roof in the past two years. Most of the bottles with age statement are so overpriced now it makes me think twice before buying a bottle. For instance, a bottle of Talisker 18 is only Y9,900 and any Japanese bottle with 18 on it will be at least Y25,000. I picked up a bottle of Talisker 18 without any second thoughts.... I did find few bottles of Hibiki 17 for Y12,000 with tax each the other day but didn't pull a trigger since I knew I could get Talisker 18 for less....
can I ask where you found them? everywhere I've looked is sold out. only found a few mini bottles. In Tokyo until next week and really wanna take back a (reasonably priced) bottle before I go
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Old Dec 28, 16, 7:46 am
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I think Tokyo is the worst place to locate any aged japanese whiskies since lots of tourists are looking for a bottle every single day. Outside of Tokyo is your best option now. The place I found few bottles of Hibiki 17 is pretty far away from Tokyo (1.5 hour train ride) and it is at a super market which is couple miles away from the nearest train station.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 3:47 am
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Been searching all the locations mentioned in this thread for a Hibiki 17 and haven't seen a single one but I stumbled upon a bottle of 21 for 23,500 (after tax) at Big in Ginza. Ended up buying it. I assumed it was a good deal as they were going for 44,000 + tax at Hasegawa. Yamazaki 12 is fairly widely available though. Found bottles at most bic camera stores and Yamaya stores for about 9,000 yen. Grabbed one of those too.

Last edited by invalyd; Dec 29, 16 at 4:23 am
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Old Dec 29, 16, 6:01 am
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That is a really good price for Hibiki 21!! I paid Y27,000 for mine!
Any more bottles left? I saw a bottle of Hakushu 18 for Y25,000 at Aeon in Okinawa couple days ago... I wish it was a Yamazaki 18...
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Old Dec 29, 16, 6:57 am
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It was the last one, unfortunately. I was a little in shock myself, as I had just come from Mitsukoshi where they were asking 50k for the same bottle. Was headed to Shinanoya Ginza as a last stop and probably going to give up had I not found one there.

On a side note, anyone have thoughts on the Nikka 12? Seems like a cheap bottle you can't get outside Japan but had a tasting at Hasegawa and very much enjoyed it.
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Old Dec 29, 16, 7:28 am
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I like the Nikka 12. It was fairly cheap last year when I bought two bottles at Y3900 each. Now they are charging about Y6000.... It has the peat from Yoichi and the sweetness from Miyagikyo. I do prefer the Date over the Nikka 12 for some reason. Date is on the sweeter side and it fits my taste buds better I guess. Date is a blend of Coffey malt and grain. If you like peat, the Nikka 12 is a good choice! Way better than the standard Yoichi... I miss the old white label NAS Yoichi...
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Old Dec 30, 16, 11:30 pm
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Just a follow up to my last post, here's the latest findings in Tokyo from this week. I checked about 20 shops for Japanese age statement whiskies (Yamaya, BIC Camera, Mitsukoshi, Shinanoya, Hasegawa, etc).

- Yamazaki 12 was available at some shops in limited quantities, maximum 1 per customer. Y8,400. When I returned a day later to the same shops these were gone. If you see something you like at a good price, act quickly.
- Did not see a single bottle of Hibiki 17, Yamazaki 18, or anything from Nikka.
- Hasegawa has bottles of Hibiki 21 for Y44,500 plus tax. This place is a huge rip off, but worth visiting for the tastings.
-Department stores are charging Y50,000 for the Hibiki 21 LE airport bottle and 10,000 for Harmony Master's Select.
- Big Liquors in Ginza had one bottle of Hibiki 21 for Y22,000 + tax which I picked up. This store is rarely mentioned on this thread and seems to be gem, only a few steps from Shinanoya Ginza.
- Shinanoya Ginza had a bottle of Hibiki 30 for Y250,000.
- Hakusuhu 12 and 18 seemed to be fairly available at Y9,000 and Y24,000, respectively. It is easy to find these in the US so I did not bother.

Mini bottles of Hibiki 17 and Yamazaki 12 are available almost everywhere for a decent price of Y800 each. I picked up 6 mini bottles of Hibiki 17 for about Y4,800.

You can of course buy these bottles for 200% the retail price at the airports if they are available.

Happy hunting.
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Old Jan 1, 17, 10:06 am
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Came across a very interesting bottle of Japanese Whisky at Astor Wines & Spirits while in NYC last week, Ohishi Sherry Cask (Cask 1212 in this case).

It's single cask so quality can obviously vary significantly from cask to cask. 100% rice mashbill (aka rice-based whisky) and a classic sherry bomb. Quite tasty and very unique. Retails for ~$75 in the US - worth considering if you come across it in the US or in Japan. They also make one that is aged in ex-Brandy casks, haven't tried that one - you can tell the difference because the Sherry Cask bottles calls out that fact on the label and the Brandy Cask bottles have just a white label.
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Old Jan 4, 17, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
Came across a very interesting bottle of Japanese Whisky at Astor Wines & Spirits while in NYC last week, Ohishi Sherry Cask (Cask 1212 in this case).

It's single cask so quality can obviously vary significantly from cask to cask. 100% rice mashbill (aka rice-based whisky) and a classic sherry bomb. Quite tasty and very unique. Retails for ~$75 in the US - worth considering if you come across it in the US or in Japan. They also make one that is aged in ex-Brandy casks, haven't tried that one - you can tell the difference because the Sherry Cask bottles calls out that fact on the label and the Brandy Cask bottles have just a white label.
Had this and the other Japanese Rice Whiskey, Fukano. Wasn't impressed. Technically they can only call it Whiskey in the US, because the rest of the world has rules that say it doesn't meet the standards of what grain Whisky is and is simply a high proof rice grain alcohol.
This seems more like a quick opportunity to jump on the Japanese Whisky craze than a real substitute for good Japanese Whisky. In fact I remember my local liquor shop promoting that their Fukano Whiskey was a "Limited edition" of 500 bottles. It even said so on the label. Well, turned out each liquor shop of some significance got their own "Limited edition" of 500. Basically the same alcohol, with a slightly altered label listing their store name on it and saying one of 500. So it was all a marketing scheme.

BTW I'm not saying it's a bad distilled spirit. I'm just not buying that it should be called Japanese Whisky. It's more like high proof Sake or Shochu.
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Old Jan 5, 17, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by Jigen666 View Post
Had this and the other Japanese Rice Whiskey, Fukano. Wasn't impressed. Technically they can only call it Whiskey in the US, because the rest of the world has rules that say it doesn't meet the standards of what grain Whisky is and is simply a high proof rice grain alcohol.
This seems more like a quick opportunity to jump on the Japanese Whisky craze than a real substitute for good Japanese Whisky. In fact I remember my local liquor shop promoting that their Fukano Whiskey was a "Limited edition" of 500 bottles. It even said so on the label. Well, turned out each liquor shop of some significance got their own "Limited edition" of 500. Basically the same alcohol, with a slightly altered label listing their store name on it and saying one of 500. So it was all a marketing scheme.

BTW I'm not saying it's a bad distilled spirit. I'm just not buying that it should be called Japanese Whisky. It's more like high proof Sake or Shochu.
What do you think about stuff from Togouchi? I purchased a bottle from masterofmalt. the 18. thought it was kind of interesting for a canadian buying partially canadian whiskey aged in japan...

one view point. http://www.nonjatta.com/2014/02/Togouchi.html
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Old Jan 5, 17, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by mkjr View Post
What do you think about stuff from Togouchi? I purchased a bottle from masterofmalt. the 18. thought it was kind of interesting for a canadian buying partially canadian whiskey aged in japan...

one view point. http://www.nonjatta.com/2014/02/Togouchi.html
Would love to hear this too. I've seen the 18 and 12 and been tempted but never pulled the trigger.
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Old Jan 5, 17, 9:26 pm
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Originally Posted by mkjr View Post
What do you think about stuff from Togouchi? I purchased a bottle from masterofmalt. the 18. thought it was kind of interesting for a canadian buying partially canadian whiskey aged in japan...

one view point. http://www.nonjatta.com/2014/02/Togouchi.html

It reminds me of the recently released Kurayoshi. Which is also imported scotch, aged and bottled in Japan. It may be a great Whisky, but it's a stretch to call it Japanese Whisky. I'm not a fan of deception, even if the juice is good.
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