Best Japanese Whiskies to Buy at Convenience Stores
6 Japanese whisky brands you can find at a Konbini
Japanese whisky is increasingly becoming more and more popular around the world. Because of this, many international visitors tend to look for some of these brands when they visit Japan to try them out.
Before coming to Japan, many might think that in order to buy whisky (or any kind of alcoholic beverage) you need to find a liquor store or a supermarket. However, you should know that you can easily find Japanese whisky at pretty much any convenience store.
In this article, I will be sharing with you the pros of purchasing Japanese whisky at a convenience store as well as our pick for the best Japanese whiskies to buy at convenience stores.
*Note: The legal age for drinking alcoholic beverages in Japan is 20, so be sure to drink only if you’re above this age.
Why buy Japanese whisky at a convenience store?
Before going to the list of Japanese whisky brands you can purchase at a convenience store, let me share with you some of the pros of buying whisky at a convenience store.
Convenience stores are (of course) convenient
There is most likely a convenience store closer to where you’re staying compared to a supermarket or liquor store. There is also the fact that convenience stores will be most likely open 24/7. Since most people like drinking at nighttime, it is good to know that you can just go to the closest convenience store if you feel like drinking late at night.
Wide variety of brands and products
Another good point is that you will find a wide variety of brands and products at a convenience store. Not only Japanese brands but also international whisky brands. Some convenience stores even have their original brand. Also, not only will you find regular bottled-type whisky, but also canned whisky and a good variety of canned highball products.
Variety of bottle sizes
Not only will you find the regular 700ml bottle, but also large, party-sized bottles as well as small sizes. These small, tasting-sized bottles are nice if you want to try out many different brands or if you don’t drink so much. Or maybe you like to mix your whisky with club soda or water (which by the way, you can also find at the convenience store).
You can find a snack to pair your drink
If you’re going to drink, then it is most likely that you will like to accompany your drink with a snack or some kind of easy side dish. You will find these at the convenience shop as well, so that is a big plus when buying the whisky at the convenience store.
Ok, now that you know the attractive points of buying Japanese whisky at a convenience store, let me introduce to you some of the best Japanese whisky brands you can find there. Although you will also find many kinds of overseas brands, I will be focusing on sharing the Japanese whisky brands.
1. Suntory Whiskey Rectangular Bottle
The Suntory Whiskey Rectangular Bottle (サントリー 角瓶), also known here in Japan as “Kaku” Whisky, is one of the most well-known blended whisky brands in Japan.
This Japanese whisky brand has been one of the best-selling Japanese whisky for over 70 years. It is rich and dry with a sweet scent which makes it good for making a highball.
Since it’s such a popular brand, you can find this brand pretty much at any convenience store. Other than the regular 700ml bottle, there are also 450ml and 180ml bottles.
2. Black Nikka Clear Whisky
Black Nikka Clear Whisky (アサヒビール ブラックニッカ) is also one of the most popular choices when it comes to Japanese blended whisky, especially for whisky beginners.
This whisky is made by blending non-peat malt, which makes it easy to drink for those who are just starting their journey into the world of whisky. Another attractive point is that it is less expensive compared to the previous brand.
Just like the previous Kaku whisky, it is most probable that you will see this brand at any convenience store. They usually have the standard 700ml bottle as well as 300ml and 180ml bottles.
3. Suntory Whisky Prime
The next brand on this list is Suntory Whisky Prime (サントリーウイスキー プライム). This is a completely original Japanese whisky brand from seven eleven, so you won’t find this anywhere else.
Although it has a dry and smokey flavor, this flavor doesn’t linger, making it a good brand to try if you are still starting trying out different whiskies.
In most cases, you will see the 640ml bottle, but there are also large, 1800ml bottles as well as small 300ml bottles.
Another original Japanese whisky brand from a convenience store is Hayate (隼天). This Japanese whisky brand can only be found at FamilyMart.
The whisky is created by a company called Minami Alps Wine and Beverage. This company located in Yamanashi prefecture is famous for its wine, whisky, and other spirits. The water used to make this whisky comes from the southern alps of Japan which is known to be top-quality water.
You can find this brand in bottles of 700ml as well as 2l boxes.
5. Suntory Old Whisky
Next on the list, we have Suntory Old Whisky (サントリー ウイスキーオールド). This is one of Suntory’s long-selling brands, having over 70 years of history.
It has a 43% alcohol percentage, making it a little stronger than regular Japanese whisky. It has an elegant sweet flagrance and a pronounced taste that is mostly preferred by many to drink on the rocks.
This brand will be seen mostly at Seven-Eleven and FamilyMart. The bottle is 700ml.
6. The Chita
And lastly, on this list, we have The Chita (知多). This Japanese grain whisky is made by Suntory.
The Chita Distillery uses a continuous distiller to refine its delicate and subtle taste, which is meant to represent the taste of a light breeze. This makes it a good whisky to drink alongside Japanese cuisine which also tends to have a delicate taste.
As you can see above, this brand comes in different sizes, so you can choose the bottle size depending on your needs.
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For more information about Japanese whisky or other kinds of beverages, check these articles below, too!