Buy the Best Japanese Whisky in the UK
Japanese whisky is inspired by Scotch whisky and, in fact, the first Japanese whisky distillers first learned their craft in Scotland. Scotland calls its distilled spirit “whisky”, so technically, it is “Japanese whisky”. However, at the end of the day, it’s only a difference in spelling.
Not everyone knows that Japanese whisky is older than the first malt distillery to produce it in 1923. Since the early 2000s, the number of producers has increased significantly, and the country’s whisky is now branching out into a new era of innovation. There were only a few hundred producers of Japanese whisky during the past century.
The early years of Japanese whisky were dominated by two individuals: Taketsuru and Torii. In 1918, Taketsuru traveled to Scotland to study at Glasgow University. He then spent a couple of weeks in Campbeltown and Speyside. After returning to Japan, he stayed with his Scottish wife.
When they first collaborated in 1921, Taketsuru wanted to build a distillery on Hokkaido, which was the part of the country that he thought was similar to Scotland. However, he was rejected by his partner, who instead built the Yamazaki facility on the outskirts of Kyoto.
After working as Yamazaki’s first distillery manager, he left in 1934 to pursue his dream of building a Yoichi distillery on Hokkaido.
Despite the various changes that have occurred in the Japanese whisky industry over the past 80 years, the two companies founded by Taketsuru and Torii still dominate the industry. Unlike the large companies in the world that produce whisky such as Diageo and Pernod Ricard, the two companies in Japan only have four separate facilities.