10 recommended Japanese whiskies [at low price – up to 5,000 yen]

Japanese whiskey has become popular worldwide in the past few years. The production of old famous whiskies such as “Yamazaki” “Hakushu” “Hibiki” “Taketsuru” “Yoichi” and “Miyagikyo” has been drastically reduced due to a shortage of original sake, and they are currently distributed in Japan at a higher price than the list price. Many whisky fans around the world are also enthusiastic about them, and they are distributed worldwide at prices many times higher than the list price.

The Japanese Whisky Dictionary recommends the following 10 Japanese whiskies for beginners to Japanese whisky, which can be purchased for up to 5,000 yen. Whisky

1. What is Japanese Whisky?

We usually use the term “Japanese whiskey” without paying much attention to it, but in fact, on February 16, 2021, the Japan Western Whiskey Brewers Association established the “Standard for Labeling Japanese Whiskey” as a voluntary standard. First, a brief explanation of this standard is given below.

1-1. Voluntary Standards for Japanese Whisky

The following conditions (1) to (4) must be satisfied to meet the “Japanese Whisky” standard.

(1) Ingredients

Ingredients must be limited to malt, grains, and water from within Japan. Malt must be used.

(2) Production

Saccharification, fermentation, and distillation must be performed at a distillery in Japan. The alcohol content at distillation should be less than 95%.

(3) Storage

The product shall be packed in wooden casks with a content of 700 liters or less and stored in Japan for at least three years from the day after the date of packing.

(4) Bottling

The product must be packed in containers in Japan and have an alcohol content of at least 40 degrees Celsius at the time of filling.

Since most whiskies that meet these criteria are priced over 5,000 yen (including tax), we have set special selection criteria as described in the next section.

For a detailed article on the definition of Japanese whisky, please click here.

2. [Low price range – up to 5,000 yen] Selection criteria

In selecting our 10 recommendations for low-priced Japanese whiskies, as described above, we have limited the selection criteria to the low-priced category because most of the products that meet the criteria are over 5,000 yen if we adopt the voluntary criteria for Japanese whiskies.

Criterion (1) Must be available for less than 5,000 yen (including tax)

Online store, etc. Less than 5,000 yen including tax The whisky must be available for purchase at.

Criterion (2) Must be made from Japanese sake

Must be made from sake distilled and stored in Japan.
*Imported sake from overseas may be blended in.

Criterion (3) Clear labeling and no confusion among consumers

If the whisky is blended with imported whiskey from overseas, the product should not be mistaken for a Japanese whisky by the consumer. The label of the product clearly indicates this fact. thing.

3. 10 low-priced Japanese whiskies recommended

Let us introduce 10 recommended Japanese whiskies that can be purchased for less than 5,000 yen, as recommended by our website, Japanese Whisky Dictionary!

No.1   Ichiro’s Malt & Grain World Blended (3,850 yen)

The most recommended is Ichiro’s Malt & Grain World Blended (also known as Ichiro’s Malt White Label).
Ichiro’s Malt products are difficult to obtain even in Japan, and it is difficult to purchase them at a fixed price, but among the Ichiro’s Malt products, this one is relatively easy to obtain and can still be purchased at almost fixed prices.
As the product name “World Blended” indicates, it is a blend of original spirits made in five regions of the world (*), including Japan. The original sake imported from all over the world is casked at the Chichibu distillery and blended after at least one year of additional aging. We do not blend the imported sake as is, but always add our own hands, mature it in the Chichibu environment, and add the essence of Chichibu before blending it.
Stories like this just make me want to drink more and more! A bottle that shows Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Distillery’s passion for making good whiskey. Please try it!
(*5 regions worldwide: Japan, Scotland, Ireland, U.S.A., Canada)

Product Name Ichiro’s Malt & Grain World Blended Whisky White Label
Sales Price 3,500 yen (3,850 yen including tax)
Capacity 700ml
Alcohol content 46% 
Liquor type and composition Blended whisky (malt, grain)
A blend of original sake made in Japan, Scotland, Ireland, U.S.A., and Canada
Place of manufacture Venture Whisky Corporation Chichibu Distillery
Voluntary Standards Some of the raw materials used are imported.

For more information on Ichiro’s Malt & Grain World Blended, please visit here.

No.2   Iwai Tradition (2,200 yen)

The second Japanese whisky we recommend is Iwai Tradition.
This commemorative blended whiskey was released in 2010 to honor Kiichiro Iwai, who was instrumental in the early days of Hombo Shuzo’s whiskey production.
The Hombo Brewery also takes bartenders’ opinions into consideration when deciding the selling price of its whisky. The company is conscious of making the price affordable for bartenders to offer to customers at bars, and among recent Japanese whiskey companies, I think it is a very conscientious manufacturer that sells at a very reasonable price.
Iwai Tradition has a well-balanced flavor with a firm sweetness, without the alcohol smell characteristic of cheaper whiskies.
Even among Mars Whisky products, “Iwai Tradition” is said to be wholesaled only to liquor stores that belong to the “Iwai Tomonokai” and it is not available anywhere. However, as long as you pay the shipping costs, you can easily purchase it through mail-order sites such as Rakuten.
For phenomenal value for money, you should try it!

Product Name Iwai Tradition
Selling price 2,000 yen (2,200 yen including tax)
Capacity 750ml
Alcohol content 40%
Liquor type and composition

Blended whisky (malt and grain)

Place of manufacture Mars Shinshu Distillery, Hombo Shuzo Co.
Voluntary Standards Some imported sake is used.

For more information about “Iwai Tradition”, please visit here.

No.3   Single malt Yoichi (4,900 yen)

The third recommendation is Single Malt Yoichi.
This is the standard product of Yoichi, of which many variations exist.
This single malt whisky, created by Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japanese whisky, at the Yoichi distillery in Hokkaido, which is known as the Scotland of Japan, is recognized worldwide as a representative whisky of Japan.
The “straight-head pot still” and “direct coal-fired distillation” are the most distinctive characteristics of this product, which is characterized by its masculine, heavy, powerful, peaty, and tidal aroma.
This is a very affordable bottle of this quality for less than 5,000 yen, and because it is rarely available at convenience stores.
We hope you’ll give it a try now!

created by Rinker
¥7,000 (2023/06/08 02:04:30時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)
Product Name Single Malt Yoichi
Sales Price 4,455 yen (4,900 yen including tax)
Capacity 700ml
Alcohol content 45%
Alcoholic Beverage

Single Malt Whisky

Place of production Nikka Whisky Corporation Yoichi Distillery
Voluntary Standards This product meets the Japanese Whiskey labeling standards.

For more information on “Single Malt Yoichi”, please visit here.

No.4   Single malt Miyagikyo (4,300 yen)

The fourth was Single Malt Miyagikyo from Nikka Whisky, which followed in third place.
It has been 30 years since the Yoichi distillery started operation. The Miyagikyo Distillery was built in Miyagikyo, Sendai, based on Masataka Taketsuru’s belief that Whisky becomes richer and richer in flavor by blending several original whiskies produced at different distilleries. It was created in 1989 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the operation of the Miyagikyo distillery.
One of its unique features is a “café-style continuous distiller. This produces a light yet deep and thick distillate.
In contrast to Yoichi, it is regarded as feminine, with a sweet and gorgeous aroma reminiscent of apples and pears, harmonized with a soft vanilla aroma derived from oak barrels. Sweet and smooth mouthfeel like dried fruits. It is characterized by malt sweetness and a soft aftertaste with a gently spreading oaky aroma.
I want to start drinking whisky! This bottle is also recommended for those who want to try it.
Like Yoichi, it can also be found at convenience stores on rare occasions.

Product Name Single Malt Miyagikyo
Selling price 3,910 yen (4,300 yen including tax)
Capacity 700ml
Alcohol content 45%
Alcoholic Beverage

Single Malt Whisky

Place of production Nikka Whiskey Company Miyagikyo Distillery
Voluntary Standards This product meets the Japanese Whiskey labeling standards.

For more information on “Single Malt Miyagikyo” , please visit here.

No.5  Suntory Chita (3,500 yen)

The fifth is “Suntory Chita” .
The Chita Distillery in Aichi Prefecture uses a continuous distillation system to produce three types of grain distillates: clean, medium, and heavy.
There is “malt” listed as an ingredient. This is because a small amount of malt is added to grains such as corn, rye, and wheat, which are the ingredients, to make the issue.
Its light flavor and subtly sweet aroma are Wind-scented highball As the catchphrase “The highball is as light as the wind, while retaining a certain sense of maturity when made into a highball. The fresh and gentle aroma and a hint of sweetness enhance the umami flavor.
This is a bottle that can be drunk easily on any occasion.

created by Rinker
¥4,800 (2023/06/08 02:04:32時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)
Product Name Suntory Whisky Chita
Selling price 3,181 yen (3,500 yen including tax)
Capacity 700ml
Alcohol content 43%
Alcoholic Beverage / Composition

Single grain whisky

Place of manufacture Chita Distillery, Suntory Spirits Co.
Voluntary Standards This product meets the Japanese Whiskey labeling standards.

For more information about “Suntory Chita” , please visit here.

No.6   Mars Maltese Maltese Cosmo (4,500 yen)

Sixth place went to Mars Maltese Maltese Cosmo.
The Mars Whisky Mars Shinshu Distillery, built to realize the dream of “someday making real whisky that makes the most of the Japanese climate” stands in the midst of the tranquility of nature at an altitude of 798 meters, looking up at the sacred mountain Komagatake.
The name “Cosumo” comes from “Cosumo Mountain” one of the mountains in the Central Alps. The name “Cosmo” is reminiscent of the universe, and the label design was inspired by the night sky seen from the Mars Shinshu Distillery located at the foot of the Central Alps.
The blending technology of Mars Whiskey allows Vatting different types of malt wines This malt whisky expresses complexity and depth through the use of a unique malt flavor.
Sweet and oaky with a hint of honey. Ripe fruitiness and smoky flavors spread, followed by a soft and gentle finish. Soft mouthfeel and light body. It gives the impression of being quite easy to drink.
This is a must-try for those who are new to Japanese whisky.

Product Name Mars Maltese Maltage Koshibaku
Sales Price 4,090 yen (4,500 yen including tax)
Capacity 700ml
Alcohol content 43%
Alcoholic Beverage

Blended Malt Whisky

Place of manufacture Mars Shinshu Distillery, Hombo Shuzo Co.
Voluntary Standards Some imported base sake is used.

For more information about “Mars Maltese Cosmo” , please visit here.

No.7   From the Barrel (3,500 yen)