This is something that I have been wondering for a while now. I asked the same question on a UK forum 3 months ago but I believe the question is still a Valid one so will ask it on WB.
I look with increasing shock at the insane prices that some of the bottles go for at auction and are being asked for in the Marketplace..
On Whiskybase Marketplace on 30th April 5250 euro got you a 1981 33 year Karuizawa?
I understand that some of the distilleries are closed in Japan and that Japanese whisky is highly rated in some quarters but is it realy worth all the hype?
I know that collectors are snapping it up, but as a product I cannot believe the price is justified. There are loads of excellent aged Scotch Whisky for a fraction of the prices still available from closed distilleries and open distilleries for that matter.
I have had some Yamazaki that was OK and some Yoichi that was good , but my experience of stellar Japanese whisky is limited. I understand that there are some excellent bottlings but that is not the issue.
I am interested in whether the product is worth the accolades when compared to Scotch single malts in general not about one or 2 excellent Japanese whisky releases that have come out?
The issue is the crazy prices have spread to all that is Japanese On May 9th there was a Chichibu 2009 port pipe, cask 1397 for 625 euro on Whiskybase Marketplace, it was bottled 2012. So over 200 euro for each year in a cask?
At the moment the Karuizawa 1980 33 year has rose to a Jaw dropping 6750 euro. I used to think that Port Ellen 1st Release and Brora 1st Release were very expensive but they look like a real bargain compared to this?
Is that Karuizawa actually a better whisky to drink?
The WB ratings for the 3 bottles are 91.91 Karuizawa, 91.68 Port Ellen, 91.83 Brora. I would say that for drinking pleasure they are pretty evenly matched, so how does the Karuizawa justify its massive price tag, it would appear the whisky is of similar great quality?
I for one fail to see what is to get excited about,from a drinkers perspective, when there is plenty of great Scotch whisky about, certainly from the closed distilleries still available at a fraction of the price.
I get the impression that if a Japanese distillery worker pissed in a cask 30 years ago and someone found it now, in the next year or so, it would be bottled and sold on the Marketpace for a 4 figure sum.
I for one will not be jumping on the bandwagon to collect the stuff or drink it, I am not interested in lining any speculators pockets.
Is all the fuss about Japanese whisky justified, are the huge prices justified, just wondered what other forum members views are on this one?