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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)

Old Nov 17, 17, 2:50 pm
  #676  
 
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A recent article about a topic near and dear to most everyone's heart on this thread, Japanese whiskey. Specifically, where to get good deals by buying at second hand stores.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/japane...nd-time-around
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Old Nov 18, 17, 3:20 am
  #677  
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Originally Posted by nishimark View Post
A recent article about a topic near and dear to most everyone's heart on this thread, Japanese whiskey. Specifically, where to get good deals by buying at second hand stores.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/japane...nd-time-around
I've seen these in various second hand stores, but I'm not sure the savings are worth the risk of ending up with a fake bottle.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 4:43 pm
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Have to go to Singapore next week. Managed to add a quick overnight in Tokyo on the way home staying at the HR Shinjuku to snag some of my favorite things including Hibiki 17. Will basically have next Friday night / Saturday morning to find (ideally) some Hibiki 17 to replenish my stock and anything else interesting (but Hibiki 17 is the big prize)

What's the best area to focus my search on this time around?
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Old Nov 24, 17, 6:20 pm
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Shinjuku Isetan had mini bottles of Yamazaki 12 for JPY789 each, limit two per customer. Early this year had each bottle in a bag with Hibiki 17 but no more. Some other offerings but didn't pay close attention. Overheard another customer asking if that's the only Japanese whisky they had and tried hard to keep from cracking up.

One of the Ginza department stores (can't remember if it was Mitsukoshi or another nearby) had Nikka 12 for ~JPY6500 but it was for delivery only as a boxed gift.
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Old Nov 24, 17, 9:34 pm
  #680  
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Originally Posted by nock View Post
Ok. Heads up to anyone in or going to Kyoto we were at Haeniwa Liquor in Gion.
Was just there and got a bottle of Hibiki 21 and Hakushu
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Old Nov 25, 17, 7:16 am
  #681  
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
Have to go to Singapore next week. Managed to add a quick overnight in Tokyo on the way home staying at the HR Shinjuku to snag some of my favorite things including Hibiki 17. Will basically have next Friday night / Saturday morning to find (ideally) some Hibiki 17 to replenish my stock and anything else interesting (but Hibiki 17 is the big prize)

What's the best area to focus my search on this time around?
Honestly, you're not likely to find anything at reasonable prices in Tokyo. If it's for your own consumption, try to get a few minis -- the loft in Shibuya usually has (and did have last week) Hibiki 17 and Yamazaki 12. You can swing by Liquor Mountain in Shinjuku, on the off chance that they have a regular sized bottle of Hakushu 12, or (more likely), Nikka 12. Japan has become a horrible place to buy Japanese whiskey; there just isn't much availability, and what little there is is horribly overpriced. In fact, prices have become so eye-watering that you can occasionally find better deals in hotel minibars that haven't had price lists updated recently -- I spotted a bottle of Hibiki 12 (!) at 980 yen last week.
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Old Nov 25, 17, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by jpdx View Post
Honestly, you're not likely to find anything at reasonable prices in Tokyo. If it's for your own consumption, try to get a few minis -- the loft in Shibuya usually has (and did have last week) Hibiki 17 and Yamazaki 12. You can swing by Liquor Mountain in Shinjuku, on the off chance that they have a regular sized bottle of Hakushu 12, or (more likely), Nikka 12. Japan has become a horrible place to buy Japanese whiskey; there just isn't much availability, and what little there is is horribly overpriced. In fact, prices have become so eye-watering that you can occasionally find better deals in hotel minibars that haven't had price lists updated recently -- I spotted a bottle of Hibiki 12 (!) at 980 yen last week.
Disappointing but not surprising. I'll try the mini approach and if anyone else sees this before next Friday and has any pointers let me know.

Got my bottle last year thanks to some awesome FTers on this thread who pointed me to some small shop near Ginza so open to any ideas - definitely don't want to break the bank but honestly in NC, the best I can hope to do is $250-299 plus shipping (no one in the state carries it) so that's my upper limit.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 1:03 am
  #683  
 
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Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
Shinjuku Isetan had mini bottles of Yamazaki 12 for JPY789 each, limit two per customer. Early this year had each bottle in a bag with Hibiki 17 but no more. Some other offerings but didn't pay close attention. Overheard another customer asking if that's the only Japanese whisky they had and tried hard to keep from cracking up.

One of the Ginza department stores (can't remember if it was Mitsukoshi or another nearby) had Nikka 12 for ~JPY6500 but it was for delivery only as a boxed gift.
​​​​​​
thanks for the heads up, just got 2 minis of Yamazaki at Isetan Shinjuku
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Old Nov 26, 17, 6:50 am
  #684  
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
Disappointing but not surprising. I'll try the mini approach and if anyone else sees this before next Friday and has any pointers let me know.

Got my bottle last year thanks to some awesome FTers on this thread who pointed me to some small shop near Ginza so open to any ideas - definitely don't want to break the bank but honestly in NC, the best I can hope to do is $250-299 plus shipping (no one in the state carries it) so that's my upper limit.
Wait, what? $250 for Hibiki 17? That's outrageous!

FWIW, I just swung by the Tenjin Loft a couple hours ago, and they had ample stock of Hak/Yam 12 and Hibiki 17 minis:



The BIC Camera a block away had some stock last week, but was completely out of minis today. They did have full size bottles of Nikka 12, though, at a reasonable (nowadays) 5500 yen.

I then walked back to my hotel via a second hand store in Nakasu. They had seven full-size bottles of Yamazaki 12 (at 12k yen) and one bottle of Hibiki 17 (at 14k yen). As pointed out above, there may be concerns that the product is fake -- I wouldn't give away one of these bottles as a gift, and at 10,780 yen for 14 minis of Yamazaki 12 and 13,275 yen for 14 minis of Hibiki 17, you're better off buying minis for your own consumption. (The 770 and 885 yen prices, respectively, are on the high side, but at least Loft has decent stock).

This is Fukuoka, btw, so won't help with your quest in Tokyo, but just to give an idea of what's out there. The Shibuya Loft had comparable stock last week.

ETA: I hate the FT software update. No idea why it's cutting off my picture.
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Old Nov 26, 17, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by jpdx View Post
Wait, what? $250 for Hibiki 17? That's outrageous!

FWIW, I just swung by the Tenjin Loft a couple hours ago, and they had ample stock of Hak/Yam 12 and Hibiki 17 minis:



The BIC Camera a block away had some stock last week, but was completely out of minis today. They did have full size bottles of Nikka 12, though, at a reasonable (nowadays) 5500 yen.

I then walked back to my hotel via a second hand store in Nakasu. They had seven full-size bottles of Yamazaki 12 (at 12k yen) and one bottle of Hibiki 17 (at 14k yen). As pointed out above, there may be concerns that the product is fake -- I wouldn't give away one of these bottles as a gift, and at 10,780 yen for 14 minis of Yamazaki 12 and 13,275 yen for 14 minis of Hibiki 17, you're better off buying minis for your own consumption. (The 770 and 885 yen prices, respectively, are on the high side, but at least Loft has decent stock).

This is Fukuoka, btw, so won't help with your quest in Tokyo, but just to give an idea of what's out there. The Shibuya Loft had comparable stock last week.

ETA: I hate the FT software update. No idea why it's cutting off my picture.
Appreciate the tips! I'll keep an eye out for minis that might be the best bet or else will just have to see if I can find anything else interesting to take it's place.

And agreed $250-300 for Hibiki 17 is more than I'm willing to pay but since our NC ABC stores don't carry it's the minimum you can pay to realistically source it in NC (hence my desire to try and replenish my stock during my time in Tokyo).
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Old Nov 26, 17, 2:46 pm
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Liquors Hasegawa at Tokyo Station had some Hibiki 17 for 17k yen when I was there in July....not great but still cheaper than $250-$300
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Old Nov 28, 17, 9:44 am
  #687  
 
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Came back this weekend with a bottle of hibiki 17. Ordered through amazon by a friend working on osaka and shipped to my hotel. Paid around 18k. Notably the first store they ordered from would not ship it to a hotel, but the second one did.
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Old Dec 1, 17, 8:32 am
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Mostly a miss for me here on night #1. Did a tour through Ginza after grabbing dinner. Department stores were mostly wiped clean, checked out Shinanoya and Sake no Sokuhai (two places recommended to me last spring when I was here). Sake no Sokuhai had a great selection but only Hibiki 17 in the fancy bottle at an outrageous 58k (got my Hibiki 17 in a regular bottle from them last year for 12.8k).

Will check out Liquors Hasegawa tomorrow (both of them) before I head out and maybe a couple others. I did check out 3 Liquor Mountains, 1 in Shinjuku, 2 in the Ginza area. The 2 in Ginza had 2017 Yamazaki LE for 15k so I decided to get one in case I strike out on the Hibiki. Didn't have my passport so they charged me tax which put it at 16.2k which isn't terrible.

Still holding out hope I can find 17 minis or bottles tomorrow somewhere.

Maybe should have Amazon Japan or Rakuten'd it to my hotel but oh well.
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Old Dec 1, 17, 9:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
Mostly a miss for me here on night #1. Did a tour through Ginza after grabbing dinner. Department stores were mostly wiped clean, checked out Shinanoya and Sake no Sokuhai (two places recommended to me last spring when I was here). Sake no Sokuhai had a great selection but only Hibiki 17 in the fancy bottle at an outrageous 58k (got my Hibiki 17 in a regular bottle from them last year for 12.8k).

Will check out Liquors Hasegawa tomorrow (both of them) before I head out and maybe a couple others. I did check out 3 Liquor Mountains, 1 in Shinjuku, 2 in the Ginza area. The 2 in Ginza had 2017 Yamazaki LE for 15k so I decided to get one in case I strike out on the Hibiki. Didn't have my passport so they charged me tax which put it at 16.2k which isn't terrible.

Still holding out hope I can find 17 minis or bottles tomorrow somewhere.

Maybe should have Amazon Japan or Rakuten'd it to my hotel but oh well.
BIC shibuya has minis. for a full bottle you should probably leave tokyo.
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Old Dec 1, 17, 10:26 pm
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Originally Posted by invalyd View Post
BIC shibuya has minis. for a full bottle you should probably leave tokyo.
Yep just an update as I'm on my way to Haneda to head back to the US.

Went to Liquors Hasegawa first thing this morning and was able to score a full bottle at 17.8k limited to just 1 (they had 4).

Went to lunch in Shinjuku and wandered through all the places there on the way back to hotel. Hit the jackpot at BIC Shinjuku (East I believe - went to all 3 and only 1 had). They had about 21 minis at 830Y each and limited me to 15 (aka one full bottles worth) which came out to 12.4k. Happy camper here basically ended up with 2 bottles at an average of 15.6k plus the 2017LE Yamazaki I snagged yesterday.

Thanks everyone here for the tips and pointers as always!
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