We used to be big fans of Yamazaki 12 and 18 year old Whisky. Also the Hibiki 17 year old, not to mention the 12 year old. Even the Mellow Harmony was quite nice. We loved the other cheaper Yamazaki variants also, the Distiller's reserve, and many more.
But recently the prices have gone through the roof and it has forced us to consider other brands. Kirin has long time been the quiet achiever of the Japanese Whisky world. It has garnered great reviews on overseas Whisky sites such as Nonjatta and others. And it is still affordable and we have now made it available here in Australia. Yes that's right! If you want to buy Japanese Whisky in Sydney or Melbourne or even Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin or Brisbane you can.
At $120 it's still affordable (we have limited stocks of the Nikka Miyagikyo NAS as well) and we have even made it under $100 (well, by one cent) for a short time. We have had to limit the sales to 2 per customer though. We thought we had to explain the reason why first. You see there are many people who are buying even from liquor stores and the. Selling online in the Japanese Whisky auction sites and forums and we didn't want them to go to these people.
What's it like? Nice in a word. Dry and strong at 50% alcohol. It is non chill filtered to preserve more of the original cask flavour. Being non chill filtered preserves more of the sweet top notes and gives it more body.
It also comes with a small can of sparkling water from Mount Fuji no less (Kirin Gotemba is located at the foot of Mt Fuji so it's no wonder). So you can make the ubiquitous Japanese 'whisky highball' which is so popular in Japan.
We hope you'll like it. Next time you make an order for sake try including a bottle of this superb and reasonably priced Japanese Whisky, available now in Australia.