Hello whiskey lovers! Here are the best Japanese whiskey under 100 for you to try right now!
This one is for all the whiskey enthusiasts!
Now if you know whiskey, you know that there are many different types of whisky available. Popular types of whiskey include Scotch, Bourbon, Canadian whiskey, and Irish whiskey. But have you tried Japanese whiskey?
Japanese whiskey is a lot more recent creation and was first made in the late 1800s and was made commercially available only in the 1920s.
The Japanese have a way of putting their Japanese magic on things and refining them. From electronics to cars to food, the Japanese have made a statement in every area.
So it is only fitting that they make some of the finest whiskey in the world. Japanese whiskey is produced using a distillation process that is similar to that of Scotch whiskey.
Japanese whiskey is typically made from malted barley and aged in wooden barrels. The type of wood enhances and adds flavour to the whiskey. Popular barrels used include wine casks, sherry vasks, white oak casks, Spanish oak casks, and even pre-used bourbon barrels.
Unfortunately, nowadays, there are many cheap and fake whiskeys that are being sold as Japanese whiskey for very high prices. Finding good quality whiskey that is budget friendly has become quite difficult lately.
Here is a list of the best Japanese whiskey under 100 for you to try out!
Best Japanese Whiskey under 100: Quick Summary
|Best Japanese Whiskey under 100||Average Price||Alcohol by Volume (ABV)|
|Suntory Whisky Toki||$30 – $35||43%|
|Hibiki Suntory Whisky Japanese Harmony||$90 – $100||43%|
|Nikka Whisky From the Barrel||$80 – $100||51.4%|
|Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky||$65 – $85||45%|
|Ohishi Sherry Cask Whisky||$75||43.3%|
|Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky||$85||45%|
|Iwai Mars Whisky||$35||40%|
|Mars Whisky Iwai 45||$40||45%|
|White Oak Akashi Japanese Blended Whisky||$50||40%|
How did we choose the best Japanese whiskey under 100?
Our group of in house experts reviewed over 20 different Japanese whiskeys and rated them based on flavour, customer appeal, and pricing. After a thorough review, we have put together this list of the best Japanese whiskey under 100.
We found that Suntory Whisky Toki is the best Japanese whiskey under 100. It is affordable, one of the most popular and widely available Japanese whiskeys in America.
Top Japanese Whiskey under 100
Suntory Whisky Toki
In Japanese “Toki” means time. Suntory Whisky Toki is a classic and the perfect place to begin if it is your first time trying Japanese whiskey. This whiskey was strategically released at a time when classic whiskeys were not easily available on the market.
Toki’s blend is mostly made of Hakushu malt and Chita grain whiskies along with a hint of Yamazaki malt. The whiskey i saged in American oak casks and some Spanish oak casks as well.
What makes Toki an ideal choice is that it is great for cocktails as well. Not many Japanese whiskeys can be used in cocktails.
This smooth whiskey has a subtle sweetness and spiced finish that comes from white pepper and ginger.
Hibiki Suntory Whisky Japanese Harmony
Hibiki Whiskey is well known for its beautiful blend that is smooth and light. It replaced the Hibiki 12 year in 2015.
Hibiki Suntory Whisky is one the mot popular blended whiskeys in the world. This is also one of the most affordable whiskeys when compared to the other Hibiki whiskeys.
Hibiki Suntory Whisky Japanese Harmony is a combination of Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chita whiskeys. The whiskey is aged mostly in mizunara Japanese oak casks.
Like the Toki, this whiskey is a great choice for cocktails like the Manhattan. Personally, I think Hibiki works best on the rocks.
This amber coloured whiskey features a nose of lychee, rose and a hint of rosemary. It has a sweetness to it and a subtle long finish, and you can taste the mizunara.
Nikka Whisky From the Barrel
Nikka’s From the Barrel is currently one of the most popular Japanese whiskeys. It used to be available at a much lower price until the Whisky advocate crowned it their Whisky of the Year. Now it is priced close to a $100.
This whiskey is the result of a blend of Yoichi and Miyagikyo malt whiskeys, with column distilled grain whiskey. Bottled at 51.4% ABV, there is also a touch of some Ben Nevis of Scotland.
What makes this complex formula so appealing is the blending of more than 100 different batches of malt and grain whiskeys. The whiskey is then aged in used barrels.
This sweet and soft whiskey is great for cocktails. It features flavours like honeyed malt, dried fruit, and spices.
Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey
Let’s start off by saying that there is no coffee in this whiskey. This whiskey gets its name from Aeneas Coffey, who invented the continuous still in 1830.
With a grain bill of 95%, the whiskey has a light and creamy nature. It is matured in old casks that were originally made from American oak. This adds a sweet flavour to the whiskey.
Many say that Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey is somewhat similar to Japanese Bourbon without the heavy char. It works well in cocktails like Old Fashioned and Manhattan.
Ohishi Sherry Cask Whisky
As the name suggests, this Ohishi whiskey is matured in sherry casks. Rice whiskey is rather soft and takes up the features of the sherry cask soon.
This whiskey has tasting notes of dried fruits and nutmeg. Ohishi is probably one of the most exciting occurrences in the history of Japanese whiskey.
Ohishi Sherry Cask Whisky is bottled at 43.3% ABV and is one of the more affordable whiskeys on our list.
Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky
When compared to Coffey Grain, Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky is a lot more sturdy. It is made fron 100% malted barley and matured in old casks. This hhekps to enhance the maltiness and silky texture of the the whiskey.
Bottles at 45% ABV, this whiskey is unique and is produced in a pot still. Hence it is referred to as a grain whiskey instead of a single malt whiskey.
Iwai Mars Whisky
Iwai Mars Whisky is one of the most affordable Japanese whiskeys. It is similar to a mild Japanese Bourbon since it is aged in used Bourbon casks.
The whiskey is made with 75% corn and 25% malted barley. It has a semi sweet and creamy flavour and features hints of vanilla, apple, and butterscotch.
The unique character of this whiskey makes it perfect for cocktails. It also is good for shots.
Mars Whisky Iwai 45
Another super affordable Japanese whiskey is Mars Whisky Iwai 45. Bottled at 45% ABV, it is very similar to the Iwai Mars Whisky mentioned above.
It has fruity notes of pear and vanilla. It is made of mostly corn and a little malted barley and rye.
You can enjoy this robust whiskey on the rocks and in cocktails as well. It is a definite must try for whisky enthusiasts.
White Oak Akashi Japanese Blended Whisky
Akashi whiskey is a comparatively smaller brand of whiskey. The White Oak distillery uses a pair of copper pot stills to produce their whiskeys.
Bottled at 40% ABV, this whisky is similar to a blended Scotch whiskey. It has a smooth and light texture with a subtle hint of peat.
This whiskey is the result of the handiwork of a sake expert and is aged in cask types including shochu, bourbon, and sherry. It works best with cocktails like the Penicillin and Manhattan.
Things to know about Japanese whiskey:
- First things first- The spelling. The Japanese took inspiration from the Scottish folk when making whiskey. This includes the double distilling process of malted or peated barley. The Scottish people spell whiskey without the ‘e’ and so the Japanese follow this as well.
- Japanese whiskey is hard to find. Nowadays, many cheap versions are being passed off as authentic Japanese whiskey at exorbitant prices. So beware!
- Japanese whiskey is very similar to Scotch. Japanese whiskey is constantly changing as distillers aim to refine their whiskeys.
- Some of the best foods to pair with Japanese whiskey highballs are smokey foods like burgers, meats like beef and chicken, spicy foods, and desserts.
Best Japanese Whiskey under 100: FAQs
Is Japanese whiskey real whiskey?
Japan is known to produce some of the best whiskeys in the liquor world. However, due to the weak laws and regulations in Japan, there are many cheap imports that come in from Scotland and Canada that are passed off as Japanese whiskey.
How do you drink Japanese whiskey?
Japanese whiskey can be drunk just like any other whiskey. Here are some ways that Japanes whiskey is best drunk:
– On the rocks
– Half rock
– With water
– Hot whiskey
– In cocktails
Why is Japanese whisky called “whisky” without the e?
Japanese whiskey is inspired by scotch whiskey. The Scottish people spell whiskey without the e and so the Japanese follow this as well.
Can Japanese whiskey be used in cocktails?
Yes, Japanese whiskeys can be used in cocktails. The Highball is a popular drink that can be made with Japanese whiskey. Japanese whiskeys with fruity notes and a sweet flavour work very well in cocktails.
Hiya! I’m the main author of Japan Truly. I love everything Japan and love testing out Japanese products, be it skincare and makeup or gadgets! You’ll find reviews of some of the best selling Japanese products (tried and tested) right here!