Scotch and japanese whiskey

Is Japanese Whiskey the Same as Scotch? – Whiskey Q&A

Ryan Yip A Gentleman's Review Leave a Comment

Have you ever been into situations where you are in the mood for a nice glass of whiskey but you just couldn’t choose between scotch or Japanese whiskey? Other than knowing that Scotches come from Scotland and Japanese whiskeys come from… well, Japan, do you know what separates the two? Here are 5 major differences, take notes!

Less Peated

Japanese whiskeys are generally less peated compared to Scotch whiskeys. A lot of the distilleries in Scotland are either on an island or near coastal areas where a huge amount of natural peat can be found, therefore, peat is widely used in Scotland to dry barley during the phase of malting.

On the other hand, Japan uses peat to dry its barleys too. However, since it is not widely available in Japan, peat is used in a reduced quantity.

Barley Source

Interesting enough, Japanese whiskeys’ barleys are from Scotland! On the contrary, Scotch’s barleys are mainly imported from Poland. Fun fact to tell your friends!

Filtration Method

Bamboo forest

The Japanese filtrates their whiskeys with bamboos! Japanese distilleries use bamboos to filter their whiskeys instead of the traditional charcoal method, giving them a fruitier profile. Also, due to geographical factors, most Japanese distilleries are located 700 to 800m above sea level, such produces lighter textured whiskeys with a strong aroma. 

Fast Maturation

Due to Japan’s climate, Japanese whiskeys tend to mature faster, resulting in products that taste older and more refined than it actually is. The Japanese climate is similar to the states of Kentucky and Tennessee in America, than those of Scotland or Ireland. This means that the summers are warm to hot while the winters are cold, the whiskeys experience a much extreme condition during its maturation period.


Generally, Scotch and Japanese whiskey both give out similar sensations but due to different filtration method, Japanese whiskeys are milder and smoother. Even for non-whiskey drinkers, they have been known to come around to enjoying Japanese whiskeys.

That’s it! Do you know these already? Did you learn something today? Comment below if you know some more!

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