Japanese Whisky Going Dry
The increasing popularity of Japanese whisky is leading to empty shelves in duty-free & liquor stores in Japan. A speculated shortage of Premium Japanese whisky is imminent.
Image from Vinepair // Japanese duty-free and liquor stores experiencing a restocking crisis of premium Japanese Whiskies.
Sometimes immense popularity in the whisky world can be a bad thing. Japanese whisky producers, like Nikka and Suntory, are scrambling to meet the fever pitch rise in domestic and worldwide demand for premium Japanese whiskies.
The excessive demand from global and domestic consumers has put Premium blends on the verge of a worldwide shortage. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, that the rapidly declining supply of Hibiki, Yamazaki and other premium Japanese whiskies is driving up the price for the aged spirits.
Japan’s largest duty-free shop in Haneda Airport have had to turn would be customers away as they can only secure 12 bottles of Hibiki a day. “We put them on the shelves at 7:30 in the morning and they are gone in 10 minutes,” reports store manager, Michihiko Takano.
This is a similar story to other liquor stores around the country. As such, prices have sored in just a few years. Yamazaki 12 year-old now sells for nearly twice what it did just 2 years ago.
In response to the crisis, Japanese whisky producers have had to put certain aged blends on life support by removing blends from circulation to properly age. The following Japanese whisky shortage is speculated to last for the next 5 to 10 years. Meanwhile, whisky producers, who will not risk compromising quality of their whiskies, are expanding to secure sustainable growth.
With the rapid popularity of whisky continuing to grow in Japan, we can expect the search for our favorite premium aged blends to become more of a headache.