A Notable List of Asian Whisky Brands to Try

Oct 6, 2019 | Asia, India, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, TASTE

Yamazaki Distillery © Suntory

Are you a whisky lover? Here are the top brands of whiskey that dominate the market in Asia – from Japan’s classic whisky brands to Singapore’s weird whisky of choice

After a long and tiring day, nothing feels better than having a glass or two of your favorite whisky. While Asia still carries famous whisky brands from the West, you’d be missing out if you don’t try locally made ones.

This old-fashioned drink is gaining popularity on the continent. While it is traditionally seen as a man’s drink of choice, more women are now taking an interest in it. If you want to know the top whiskey brands in Asia, keep on reading.

Suntory Whisky Toki, Japan

It’s impossible to talk about the top whisky brands in Asia without mentioning Suntori. Made famous in America thanks to Bill Murray’s iconic scene in Lost in Translation, this popular Japanese drink offers a blend of grain and malt whisky from the company’s multiple distilleries located in Chita, Yamazaki, and Hakushu.

The main draw of this whisky is its lightness. While the flavor does not boast impeccable depth, it’s still a great whisky to try.

Hakushi 18, Japan

One of the Japanese whiskies on the expensive side at $205, this whisky has been aged for 18 years and is one of the most notable products in the whole continent. With just a single sip, you will be captivated by its flavors which include hints of dried cherries and smoke, coupled with fresh notes of malt and fruit. Without question, its maturation process is hard to beat.

If you manage you get this bottle, you’d surely want to keep it to yourself – that’s how good it is. Suntory’s Hakushu Distillery also offers 25-year and 12-year whisky.

Kavalan King Car Conductor, Taiwan

Made by Taiwan’s King Car Group, this Kavalan whiskey is made of single malts aged in bourbon and ex-sherry casks, then treated in a vat together. With its luxurious packaging, it’s not hard to see why this whiskey is a favorite among the Taiwanese community

Although its flavor simple, this drink is undeniably more complex compared to earlier bottlings of the distillery. It stands out because of its unique cream toffee, soft banana nose, dark chocolate, pepper, and exotic fruit blend that dances perfectly in your palate. This is an amazing drink of choice for people who prefer clean and sharp drinks as opposed to sweet ones.

Paul John Edited, India

Although it is a newer brand in India, Paul John Edited is taking the country by storm thanks to its ongoing semi-peated whiskey. This drink is made using Indian barley malted with Scottish peat. 

With around 20-25ppm peated spirit and dried fruit notes, this drink gives just the right balance of sweet and spicy, blended with a hit of cinnamon and an addicting balance of earthy smoke. It’s one of the best whiskeys to try if you want to get a taste of the developing single malt style of Asia.

Durian Whisky, Singapore

Yes, the rumors are true. The infamous spiky fruit has been turned into a whisky. Singapore’s controversial Durian Whisky has been the subject of talks among whiskey lovers from America, Europe, and Asia

This drink surely takes the cake for being one of the weirdest drink and food combinations. It is brewed from the flesh of delicious Musang King durian. To make this drink come to life, the distiller uses patented fermentation technology. Aside from its intriguing flavor, it gives you a dense mix of vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, and minerals. 

However, this product has caused a stir because many people refuse to label it as a whisky. Although it’s not the same as the traditional whiskey you’d like to go for, it’s definitely worth a try.

Ready to Drink in Asia?

Not so long ago, finding a fantastic bottle of whisky in Asia was hard. Now, the times have changed for the better. With the myriad of distillers all over the continent, you’ll surely find something that will suit your taste.