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Who has a good (and extensive) selection of Japanese Whiskeys?

ipsedixit May 16, 2013 04:34 AM

Preferably in/around Midtown West.

I know that Flatiron is famed for its whiskey and single malt selections, but they only have 4 whiskeys from Japan.

Any and all recommendations appreciated.

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  1. Veggo RE: ipsedixit May 16, 2013 04:47 AM

    Ipse, just curious - what are the distinctive characteristics of Japanese whiskey?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Veggo
      kathryn RE: Veggo May 16, 2013 05:20 AM

      Nearly all Japanese whiskeys are Scotch style whiskey.

      1. re: kathryn
        ipsedixit RE: kathryn May 16, 2013 06:05 AM

        That's a bit too glib.

        That's sort like saying all sashimi is seafood.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          loratliff RE: ipsedixit May 16, 2013 07:23 AM

          But it is generally true.

          I'm no expert, but I have tasted most of the Suntory imports (Hibiki 12 and 17, and a couple of the Yamazakis, etc.) and while they're lovely, I don't find them distinctly different from any other Scotch-style whiskey. They are perhaps lighter and more floral, but that's about the only difference I could pick out.

          1. re: loratliff
            ipsedixit RE: loratliff May 16, 2013 07:55 AM

            We can all agree that they *are* different, but how different is matter of personal opinion and relative.

            I mean, for example, CA Pinot Noir and Oregon Pinot Noir for some people are pretty much the same with maybe the CAs being a bit more bold. But others will proclaim that there is a subtle, but significant, difference, essentially that (to borrow what is now a rather hackneyed phrase) "the difference between CA and OR Pinot Noir is like the difference between ripe fruit and fresh fruit."

          2. re: ipsedixit
            kathryn RE: ipsedixit May 16, 2013 08:51 AM

            I find it's a helpful starting point if you know that you do or do not like scotch. I included a link that does go into more detail. Here are even more links.

            Demystifying Japanese Whiskey
            Japanese Whiskeys, Translated From the Scottish

        2. re: Veggo
          ipsedixit RE: Veggo May 16, 2013 06:05 AM

          That's what I'd like to find out.

        3. k
          kathryn RE: ipsedixit May 16, 2013 05:19 AM

          I thought there were only 6 or so Japanese whiskeys imported into the USA officially, total.

          I want to say that Momofuku Ssam or Booker & Dax has them all but I'm not sure.

          Try Sakamai:

          1. Spiritchaser RE: ipsedixit May 16, 2013 07:13 AM

            Cherry at The Dream Hotel has 6 at last count (and for now I think that's all that's available in the US).

            1. t
              thegforceny RE: ipsedixit May 16, 2013 07:44 AM



              1. b
                Bkeats RE: ipsedixit May 16, 2013 08:06 AM

                Its not midtown, but one of my favorite places for whiskey is Brandy Library in Tribeca. According to the website, they have 4 Japanese whiskeys.

                1. Phil Ogelos RE: ipsedixit May 25, 2013 05:26 PM

                  In case you haven't seen it already (and proof, as if more were needed, that the Times often takes its lead from CBS) :


                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Phil Ogelos
                    ipsedixit RE: Phil Ogelos May 25, 2013 07:06 PM

                    I demand full attribution!

                    Well, at least a free subscription ...

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      Phil Ogelos RE: ipsedixit May 28, 2013 04:25 PM

                      "attribution" for what, exactly, ipse? I can't see you having referenced that article here (unless you're quoted in it -but then how could anyone know that?)

                      1. re: Phil Ogelos
                        ipsedixit RE: Phil Ogelos May 28, 2013 08:14 PM

                        You do realize I was being sarcastic, right?

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          Phil Ogelos RE: ipsedixit May 30, 2013 06:56 AM

                          Effective sarcasm, like irony, still has to have some grounding in fact, though.

                  2. c
                    Cookbug RE: ipsedixit May 26, 2013 06:06 AM

                    If you are looking to purchase a bottle, we noticed a good selection at Astor Wine & Spirits in the East Village (399 Lafayette btwn 4th & Astor Pl).

                    I would also suggest, if you are wanting to purchase, Park Avenue Liquor (292 Madison btwn 40th & 41st).

                    Visited Flatiron last year and didn't care for it much. Cold, unfriendly service. Have visited Brandy Libray in the past and really enjoyed it.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Cookbug
                      ipsedixit RE: Cookbug May 26, 2013 10:40 AM

                      That's good to know about Park Ave. Liquor. How is the selection there?

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        Cookbug RE: ipsedixit May 26, 2013 10:49 AM

                        Excellent selection and very helpful, knowledgeable staff. Here's the website:


                        Should also note that prices in town were slightly better than at duty free at the airport (not sure where you are from if that might apply).

                        1. re: Cookbug
                          ipsedixit RE: Cookbug May 26, 2013 10:53 AM

                          Appreciate it very much. Thanks.

                          1. re: Cookbug
                            ipsedixit RE: Cookbug May 28, 2013 04:31 AM

                            If it doesn't rain today, I might head there after I get done with work later this afternoon.

                        2. re: Cookbug
                          kathryn RE: Cookbug May 26, 2013 10:52 AM

                          I assume you mean Flatiron Room not Flatiron Lounge, BTW.

                          Actually, I've always had excellent service at both.

                          1. re: kathryn
                            Cookbug RE: kathryn May 26, 2013 11:52 AM

                            Yes, Flatiron Room. Would not return.

                        3. o
                          olympusnyc RE: ipsedixit May 27, 2013 07:57 PM

                          While Sakagura is known for their extensive sake selection, I would suspect they carry a good J-whiskey selection...but just guessin'.

                          1. r
                            rovingfoodie RE: ipsedixit May 28, 2013 04:51 PM

                            Keen's has a pretty amazing whiskey and scotch menu, and I seem to remember them having some Japanese brands on there when I visited a few months ago.

                            1. o
                              orthorunner RE: ipsedixit May 28, 2013 09:01 PM

                              Try On The Rocks, which is in Midtown West, on 10th Ave. They have a very extensive whiskey menu, including at least a few Japanese whiskeys the last time I was there. It is a small spot but they are serious about their whisk(e)y.

                              1. Phil Ogelos RE: ipsedixit May 31, 2013 07:00 AM

                                And a DIY Japanese whiskey cocktail recipe, designed for the last ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair); not sure, unless you own a restaurant, that you will want to run your oven for nearly three days straight just to produce the garnish, though!

                                The Red Thread

                                2oz 12yr Hakushu Single Malt Whisky

                                1/2oz fresh lemon juice

                                1/2oz habanero-infused agave

                                2 dashes of Bitter Truth Mole Bitters

                                Add all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice. Shake hard. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an oven-dried lemon wheel.

                                (The lemon wheel shown here was dried to black at 200 degrees for 67 hours)

                                Source: http://surfacemag.com/tomas-delos

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