The Yamazaki Japanese Whisky has escalated in price in recent years. Speculation is the whisky trend craze in general, but many attribute the steep rise in prices of Japanese whiskey is due to the Tsunami earthquake in Japan a few years back. When supplies were wiped out, existing stock escalated. The Yamazaki 12 year is around $75/bottle while the 18year is significantly more at about $275 per bottle.
I’ve had both, and the 18 year is definitely smoother with more flavor, I just can’t justify spending more than $100 on any consumable product whether its champagne, wine or whiskey. Of course there are those occasions when you really love something and its for a special reason like a birthday, holiday or whatever. Then I guess its fine, but if you are regular whiskey drinker or a multi-millionaire, $300 for a bottle of anything should be out of the question.
In general I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Japanese whisky. I’ve tried a good cross section of them thanks to my friends at Flaviar. They once featured the “Whisky’s Big in Japan” tasting pack which includes 45ml samples of 5 Japanese whiskies. Some I liked more than others, but in general I did not find I liked Japanese whiskey. About a year later I tried The Yamazaki 18 for my birthday and found it to be very nice. So, I went out and bought a bottle of the 12 year to revisit it. As many know, the longer you leave whisky out to open air, the flavor changes. It never goes bad, but it does change. The Yamazaki 12year is good whisky but not something I love. However, if you want to score points with a whisky aficionado, definitely spring for a bottle of The Yamazaki.
Spirit: Japanese Single Malt Whisky, 86 proof (43% Alcohol)
Availability: Common, $75 Retail
Rating / Score: 81% or B-