Sun Rises on Japanese Whiskey

After claiming numerous awards, Nikka and Suntory plan global marketing push
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2009 3:40 PM CDT
Sun Rises on Japanese Whiskey
The Yoichi distillery, in Hokkaido, Japan.   (Wikimedia Commons)

Japanese whiskey is becoming a contender on the world stage, set to steal market share worldwide from the likes of Johnnie Walker and Chivas Regal, the Guardian reports. Japan’s Nikka and Suntory distilleries took the single-malt and blended whiskey awards, respectively, at last year’s world whiskey awards, and a slew of awards have followed, boosting export sales and attracting devotees even among the staunchest traditionalists.

“We want to sell in overseas markets where drinkers are looking for something real, but different,” said a marketing manager for Suntory. With an ideal climate and reverence for traditional distilling methods, Japanese whiskey makers are planning to expand further: Nikka will push into Sweden and France, while Suntory will deploy a marketing campaign in the UK for its 12-year-old Hibiki blend. (Read more whiskey stories.)

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