Whisky and JP info

Secret stories about Japanese whisky : Yamazaki distillery

I am “Shinno Hagakure” who is Japanese blogger in Belgium.
I often write articles about European culture to let Japanese people know that.

Through this action, I became to hope to introduce Japanese culture to people in the world widely.
It is one of the new challenges for me.

Let me introduce Japanese whisky.

Do you have any experience drinking Japanese whisky?
Today, I would like to introduce  “Yamazaki”.



What is “Yamazaki “?
It is distilled Yamazaki distillery. (the owner is Suntory.)
It was started from 1923, so it will celebrate the 100th anniversary soon.

Why Japanese whisky is famous in the world?
First, I prefer to introduce an interesting story.
My friend in Europe told me that “Japanese whisky is unique”.
However, I think most Japanese people don’t understand about it.

Me, neither.
I thought about it…. And then, I came up with some ideas.
The taste of Japanese whisky is too fit to Japanese culture.

Historically, Japanese distillery devoted to make Whisky for Japanese.
According to the books in Japan, one of the reasons is scotch whisky was too smoky for Japanese at this era.

They researched the taste that Japanese people like.
Finally, they made whisky for Japanese people.
I think this mind is still alive today.

I think these stories are general information.
Today, I introduce my assumptions to you hope to drink Yamazaki whisky. Following stories are based on my experiences.

3 stories that make you feel like drinking  whisky.

1. Nature and four seasons grew Japanese whisky up.
2. Unique wood materials made unique Japanese flavor.
3. “Sen no Rikyu” who is legendary “Tea ceremony” master used same water system in Edo era.


1.Nature and four seasons grew Japanese whisky up

Yamazaki distillery is located at forest side in Osaka.
Whisky sleeps and breaths in the nature.


(A quote from wikipedia.)


Additionally, Japan has clear four seasons.

Japanese temperature is changed from 0 to 35 degrees through one year.
Generally, high temperature makes whisky to mature fast.

They are just my opinion, but I think this condition of temperature is not too fast but not too late for whisky.
I think Yamazaki whisky 12 year old is good balance to drink.


2.Unique wood materials made unique Japanese flavor.

Mizunara is “Japanese oak”.

The barrel of whisky is made from Mizunara, it adds unique sweet flavor to the whisky.

It is like a deep forest.
When I drank Yamazaki 12 year old, it took me back to Japanese forest.
The flavor reminded me of my memory.



We Japanese feel nature as gods historically.
This feeling may be one of the Japanese philosophies.

Additionally, Mizunara is very delicate material to make barrel.
The famous problem is leakage. Making barrels needs technic.

I heard that Mizunara is decreasing in Japan.
In the future, Drinking Mizunara flavored whisky may become rare experience.


3.“Sen no Rikyu” who is legendary “Tea ceremony” master used same water system(Tennozan water system) in Edo Era.

Yamazaki uses Tennnozan water system for whisky.
It is one of the famous high quality natural water in Osaka.

The following is a historical story about 500 years ago.

Before “Ieyasu Tokugawa” started shogunate at Edo-It is Tokyo today-, “Hideyoshi Toyotomi” was most seminal shogun.

His base was Osaka. His Osaka castle is still remained.
It is one of the famous sightseeing spots in Japan.

This is a photo of “Osaka castle”.



In this age, “Tea celemony” was very important.
Tea ceremony has strict ways and rules and philosophies of Japan.

Making good tea ceremony was an important skill of enlightening shoguns.
“Sen no Rikyu” is legendary master of Tea celemony.

About 500 years ago, Sen no Rikyu made tea with water. It was same water system as that of Yamazaki.
When I knew this story, I felt something like roman.


(A quote from wikipedia.)


Would you like to drink Yamazaki whisky?

If your answer is Yes, I am glad.
Thank you for reading this article.
I will write Japanese whisky information from a viewpoint of Japanese.

See you in the next article.

座右の銘は「冗談のなかに真実あり。真実のなかに偽りあり。」 あなたに新たな発見や楽しい時間を過ごすという価値を届けます。