In the last several years, Scotch-style whiskies from Asia have risen to prominence. And many whiskey lovers were taken by surprise last year when Jim Murray named Suntory's Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 the best in the world in his 2015 World Whisky Bible.
Some might be most familiar with Japanese whiskey from Bill Murray's Suntory commercials in the film Lost in Translation. And while the company distills its own branded whiskey, its holdings of Hakushu, Hibiki, and Yamazaki have made it a dominant force in the Japanese whiskey market.
And Japan is not the only country in Asia whose whiskey is attracting international recognition. In 2010, Murray named Indian distillery Amrut's Fusion whiskey (made from Indian and Scottish barley) the third best in the world. Meanwhile, Taiwanese distillery, Kavalan, had its Solist Vinho Barrique named the world's best single malt whiskey during the 2015 Whiskey Awards.
Along with Scotch-style whiskey, Taiwan also produces kaoliang, a wheat- and sorghum-based whiskey that is in the family of Chinese baijiu. Clear and high-proof, it's often consumed straight as a shot.
With increasing worldwide interest and demand for whiskey, not only from the U.S., but also from China, driving up prices and cutting into availability, these Asian whiskies can provide a good alternative to Scottish whiskies. And there are plenty of places in D.C. to learn about and try a number of these options from Asia.
Editor's Note: This story has been corrected and updated to better reflect Suntory's relationship to its other distilleries.Read More