For the first time in a long time, a reasonably priced Japanese whisky has made its way to the US. A combination of corn and malt whiskies aged between three and five years, Tenjaku is the first Japanese whisky to retail for under $50 since Suntory dropped Toki into the US market four years ago.
Not much is known about Tenjaku other than it’s rolling out across the US now, is bottled at a very light 80 proof and will retail for $40, according to Whisky Advocate. Both the malt and corn whiskey portions of the blend are also aged in bourbon casks.
In the four year gap between Toki and Tenjako, Nikka’s From the Barrel offering — available most places for $50 to $70 — came the closest to achieving “everyday whiskey” status. By and large, Japanese whisky is overhyped and overpriced; its fame thanks in large part to labels with kanji type, rarity and plenty of international award recognition.
Will Price is Gear Patrol's home and drinks editor. He's from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He's interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.
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