In 1924, Shinjiro Torii, a Japanese wine merchant hired Masataka Taketsuru, who had recently returned from Scotland and had become well versed in manufacturing its top product, whisky. Taketsuru set up Japan's first whisky distillery for Torii at Yamazaki near Kyoto.
However, in 1931, Taketsuru quit and moved north to Hokkaido, setting up the Yoichi distillery. Torii's company was to become Suntory and Taketsuru's Nikka and both produced Japanese whisky for years before the world woke up to it.
Japanese whisky often wins out in blind-taste competitions against Scotch whisky. Even though few people in India are aware of the quality of fine Japanese Single Malts such as the Hakushu or Nikka Single Malt, many often prefer them to Scotch.
Japanese whisky is not so easy to find in Indian liquor shops but top-end Japanese restaurants such as Wasabi at the Taj Mansingh in Delhi serve the brew. Believe us, try some, you will like it.