When a whiskey by Japanese distiller Yamazaki won the prestigious prize ‘Best Whisky in the World’ over Irish and Scottish competitors in 2014, the world of whiskey was in shock. But the win also set off a wave of international demand for Japanese whiskey that led to increased exports of the spirit, as data from the Finance Ministry shows
(link in Japanese).
In the year following the win, whiskey exports nearly doubled and have been growing ever since. Whiskey expert Jim Murray, who oversees the raking, has said that the Japanese win should instill “a dose of humility” in European competitors. Since the historic win, Japanese whiskey
has gone from an exotic footnote to a well-known player in the world of fine whiskeys, with experts praising the Japanese for their skill in the traditional blending of whiskeys.