Musings: Hattori Hanzō Katana-na-na-na
Quite frankly, you would have to have been living under a rock had you not heard about the Japanese Whisky revolution that has been sweeping the globe recently. I should also mention that the Japanese spelling of whisky is with no e, like Scotch, as opposed to Irish Whiskey, spelt with an e! If like me, you are not a particularly prolific taster of spirits, you may be a bit bewildered as to the substance behind it all. Whisky in general is experiencing such growth on the global market that it is seen as a surer bet than gold at the moment. A flashpoint in Japanese Whisky's ascent was when Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 took the top honours in ultimate Whisky authority Jim Murray's "Whiskey Bible". Describing it as a work of "near indescribable genius, demand erupted. Recently the first edition of Yamazaki 50 Year Old Single Malt sold at auction in Hong Kong for over HK$1,000,000 (around AUD$150,000) - one industry expert wonderfully observed it as costing "the same as a Maserati". In Jim Murray's whisky bible of 2015, not a single scotch made that year's top 5.
What makes japanese whisky so special? Leaving aside the japanese' innate flair for the meticulous and the technical, many have pointed to the purity of the water or the pointed difference in the temperature between the cold winters and warm summers. japanese whisky is famous for a cleaner and more pure spirit, but also one that offers excellent persistence in the glass, and some unique aromas.
I must admit to being completely enchanted by this mystical stuff.