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Whisky Direct is a direct importer of Japanese & Rare Whisky.

Japanese Whisky Blog

Whisky and Cigar Pairing

Bradley Woolf

The allure of sipping on a good bottle of whisky is undeniable. But pairing a fine cigar with your favorite whisky can elevate the experience to another level and bring out underlying flavors you might not have noticed before. The deep flavors of cigars, developed through years of history, are a great complement to the nuanced flavors that exist in any appreciable bottle of whisky.

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The Japanese Whisky Crisis

Bradley Woolf

20 years ago, and after a decade of rock bottom popularity, Japanese distilleries didn't set aside enough barrels in their aging warehouses to deal with the completely unforeseen boom in demand that was lying in wait for them. I’m sure a demand planner could write a novel on this stuff.

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White Oak (Eigashima) Distillery

Whisky Direct (Japanese Whisky Specialists)


A Rising Star of Japanese Whisky

The White Oak distillery is located in the city of Akashi facing the Seto Inland Sea.
According to whisky author Dave Broom, “the White Oak distillery is perhaps the least known of Japan’s whisky producers, but it has a legitimate claim to be the country’s oldest with a license to make whisky granted in 1919 - four years before Yamazaki was even built”.

As the distillery is mostly used to produce two of Japan’s most popular alcoholic drinks – sake and shochu – the whisky stills are only in operation for one month every year resulting in a miniscule annual whisky production quantity. White Oak is the only whisky in the world distilled by a sake ‘Grand Master’ and is renowned for its unique and exceptional flavour profiles.

The White Oak maturation process occurs in an area which becomes very hot in the summer.  This extreme heat means that the casks impart a much stronger flavour on the whisky in far less time than other places such as Scotland, as well as the evaporation (AKA the "Angels' Share") being around 7-8% annually rather than the standard 2%.

Due to the tiny output, most of White Oak’s whisky goes into blends. Only a handful of selected barrels are aged for long enough for single malt bottling – these are named ‘Akashi’ as a tribute to the hometown.

These sensational, ultra-rare whiskies are released in extremely limited quantities.

To learn more about the flavour profile of each whisky in our White Oak range, please visit our store.

View Our White Oak Range

Nikka Yoichi & Miyagikyo 'Moscatel Wood Finish'

Whisky Direct (Japanese Whisky Specialists)

We're excited about this one!!

Nikka's limited edition Yoichi & Miyagikyo 'Moscatel Wood Finish' were released in late 2017, exclusively to the Japanese market. 

Only 3500 bottles of each expression were produced, and a minuscule 500 of each allocated to retail outlets.

Non Chill-Filtered and bottled at 46% ABV, these brilliant expressions are an absolute pleasure to drink.

Moscatel is a sweet, fortified white wine from Portugal, which is similar to the better known French 'muscat'. A handful of the finest barrels were selected by Nikka in order to use them to finish aging of Yoichi and Miyagikyo's single malts for a year.

This is an extremely limited release by the great Miyagikyo distillery, released in 2017, with only 500 bottles available for retail.

Tasting Notes (Yoichi)

On the nose, the great Yoichi smoke is powerful, with a subtle muscat fruitiness (honey, pineapple, mango) present in the background. Tropical fruit, and thick honey spread gently on the palate, followed by an intense peaty finish which is long and full of oak and smoke.

Tasting Notes (Miyagikyo)

A burst of fresh muscat grapes and oak come to the nose, followed by a harmonious blend of fresh summer fruits, rich raisins, and subtle sandalwood.

The Moscatel influence enhances the dried fruit and sweetness of the Miyagikyo base. Muscat grapes, honey, and sweet oak aromas bring a palate of sweet and dry fruit.

The finish is long and satisfying, leaving you wanting for nothing