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

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

    6 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        That's a bit too glib.

        That's sort like saying all sashimi is seafood.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          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

            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

            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
            http://tastingnotesnyc.com/2013/01/31...
            Japanese Whiskeys, Translated From the Scottish
            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/din...

        2. re: Veggo

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

        3. 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:
          http://static.squarespace.com/static/...

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

                  http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/20...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Phil Ogelos

                    I demand full attribution!

                    Well, at least a free subscription ...

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      "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

                        You do realize I was being sarcastic, right?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

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

                  2. 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

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

                      1. re: ipsedixit

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

                        http://www.parkaveliquor.com/

                        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

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

                        1. re: Cookbug

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

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

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Yes, Flatiron Room. Would not return.

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

                          1. 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. 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. 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