Many of us strongly believe that the best Whiskies are made only in Scotland. It is true that the Scotch Whiskies have its own prestige and pedigree, but that does not mean that they are the only best Whiskies in the world. Scotch Whiskies are too well engineered, with manufacturers well qualified, and the areas perfectly suited for the production of Whisky. Distillation started in Scotland in 1494 and developed into a big enterprise by 1644. Many regions of Scotland has transformed into areas of Whisky flavors, hues, and notes.
Today, some of them produce homey and sweet flavors, while others offer smoky and peaty flavors. This is the reason Scotsmen are considered the Spartans of Whisky. However, things changed in 2001 when Japanese Whiskey was awarded the prize for best Whiskey for the first time in history. Japanese Whiskey won Whisky Magazine’s top international prize – “Best of the Best”. A Japanese brewer and distiller named Suntory won gold medals at International Spirits Challenge every year since 2003. What’s more, the blind taste tests conducted by Whisky Magazine repeatedly awarded Japanese single malts as best single malts. History of Japanese Whiskey Shinjiro Torii, a pharmaceutical wholesaler from Japan, was inspired by the taste of western liquors and started importing and selling wines in 1899. By 1907, he started making port wine, but was unsatisfied with the wine and started thinking about making a variation of Scotch Whiskies. In 1931, Torii started the Whisky making company called Kotobukiya, and opened the first distillery in Japan. Another man named Masataka Taketsuru traveled from Japan to Scotland in the year 1918, to study organic Chemistry and English at the University of Glasgow. After his studies, he worked in many of the Scottish distilleries. He took detailed notes on the Whisky distilling process, and in 1924, he came back to the Yamazaki distillery of Torii. Later on, Taketsuru and Torii worked together to make the first commercial Whiskey of Japan, named Suntory Whisky Shirofuda. Since then, Suntory has evolved as the third largest distillery in the world. Japanese Whiskey has collected awards all over the world beating out Ireland, Scotland, and American Whiskies. In just twenty years, Scotch appeared to be unseated from its throne by Japanese Whiskies and distilleries.