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

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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: Veggo

      Nearly all Japanese whiskeys are Scotch style whiskey.

      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
            Japanese Whiskeys, Translated From the Scottish

        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:

          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. Hole-in-One.


              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) :


                  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:


                        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

                          Appreciate it very much. Thanks.

                          1. re: Cookbug

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

                        2. 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.

                        3. 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