Is Japanese Whisky Better Than Scotch?

January 22, 2015 9:38 PM

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Is Japanese Whisky Better Than Scotch?

IT WAS A BRIGHT , clear morning as we took off from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. A few minutes into our flight, the captain announced that for those on the right side of the plane, Mt. Fuji would soon be coming into view. I was on the left, but a few of us got up anyway to catch a glimpse of Japan’s highest mountain. Flying, it’s easy to feel alienated—cocooned in a metal cylinder, with nothing but a view of the clouds and a television screen—but for that brief moment, peering out of the plane’s window, I really felt a sense of place.

It’s a theme I had been mulling over ever since I arrived in Japan. Although the country has a small wine industry—Grace Wines being a notable estate to look out for—and an internationally renowned sake industry, it was its fledgling whisky industry that seemed to be in the national consciousness wh...

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