The Best Japanese Whiskies for Highballs in 2024

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Best Japanese Whiskies for Highballs

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Best Japanese Whiskies for Highballs in 2024 are the pinnacle of cocktail craftsmanship. Indulge in our hedonistic journey through luxurious Nikka Coffey Grain, sublime Hibiki 21, and mellow Tokinoka White, each a masterpiece tailored for the perfect highball experience. Savour the art of mixology with these exquisite selections.

Table of Contents

Please Note:

  • Prices and Availability: The whisky market is dynamic, with prices and availability subject to change. The price ranges provided are as of 2024 and may vary.
  • Subjective Taste: Whisky tasting is a personal experience. The selections below are broad enough to cater to a range of preferences.

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky (95/100)

Best Japanese Whiskies for Highballs
  • Price Range:  £54 – £80 | Buy at Amazon UK
  • Best For: Everyday highballs
  • ABV: 45%
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Appearance: Pale gold, glistening in the glass
    • Nose: Sweet and inviting with hints of vanilla, coconut, and ripe melon
    • Palate: Soft, rounded texture with notes of honey, apple pie, and gentle spice
    • Finish: Clean and refreshing, leaving a pleasant sweetness on the tongue

Crafted specifically for highballs, Nikka Coffey Grain uses 100% corn to create a uniquely smooth, sweet, and mellow flavour profile that melds beautifully with sparkling soda water. It offers the perfect introduction to the world of Japanese highballs.

Read Full Review: Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky: Unique Allure Explored

Tokinoka Blended Whisky (92/100)

  • Price Range: £48 – £60 | Buy at Amazon UK
  • Best For: Mindful highball experiences
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Appearance: Light amber with golden highlights
    • Nose: Gentle aromas of honey, vanilla, and freshly baked bread
    • Palate: Silky and mellow with flavours of ripe melon, baking spices, and a hint of white chocolate
    • Finish: Smooth and easy, with a subtle sweet oakiness

From the renowned House of Suntory, Tokinoka Blended Whisky unites malt and grain whiskies aged in American white oak casks. The result is an approachable, honey-kissed dram that shines in a well-balanced highball.

Read Full Review: Tokinoka Blended Whisky: Savor the Rich Legacy of Japanese Distilling

Mars Whisky Komagatake Single Malt (88/100)

  • Price Range: £142 – £150 | Buy at Amazon UK
  • Best For: Adding a spicy kick to highballs
  • ABV: 48%
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Appearance: Deep amber
    • Nose: Rich and complex with notes of dried fruits, dark chocolate, and warm spices
    • Palate: Full-bodied and intense with flavours of raisins, cinnamon, and a hint of smoke
    • Finish: Long and warming with a lingering spiciness

Aged for 30 years in sherry casks, Mars Whisky Komagatake Single Malt adds depth and complexity to highballs.

Hibiki 21 Year Old Japanese Harmony Whisky (99/100)

  • Price Range: £730 – £790 | Buy at Amazon UK
  • Best For: Special occasions
  • ABV: 43%
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Appearance: Deep amber with a reddish hue
    • Nose: Luxurious and complex with notes of honey, dried fruits, and sandalwood
    • Palate: Silky smooth with flavours of apricots, vanilla, caramel, and a hint of smoke
    • Finish: Long and elegant with a subtle floral essence

Hibiki 21 Year Old Japanese Harmony Whisky achieves perfect balance between malt and grain whiskies aged for at least 21 years.

If you seek highball nirvana, accept no substitutes. Learn more about Hibiki Japanese Whisky.

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Blended Whisky (90/100)

  • Price Range: £77 – £120 | Buy at Amazon UK
  • Best For: Introducing depth and smoke to highballs
  • ABV: 45%
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Appearance: Bright gold
    • Nose: Complex with notes of fruit, vanilla, and a hint of peat smoke
    • Palate: Well-balanced with flavors of citrus, spice, and a subtle smokiness
    • Finish: Medium length with a pleasant smoky sweetness

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Blended Whisky combines single malts with grain whiskies aged in wine, sherry, and bourbon casks.

Suntory Whisky Toki (86/100)

  • Price Range: £38 – £50 | Buy at Amazon UK
  • Best For: Everyday Enjoyment
  • ABV: 43%
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Appearance: Clear gold
    • Nose: Floral and fruity with notes of green apple, honey, and basil
    • Palate: Light and sweet with flavours of grapefruit, green grapes, and a peppery undertone
    • Finish: Short and sweet with a hint of vanilla

Designed for highballs, Suntory Toki brings together whiskies from Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chita distilleries. It is light, sweet flavour makes it incredibly easy to drink and is ideal for highball beginners.

Read Full Review: Toki Suntory Whisky Review: Discovering Japan’s Unique Whisky Heritage

Accessible and easy-drinking, it makes for an ideal introductory highball whisky. Explore Akashi Japanese Whisky.

The Art of the Highball

The Japanese highball showcases the perfect harmony between whisky and soda. Follow these steps to craft your own:

  1. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes
  2. Add 1 part whisky (we recommend 45-60ml)
  3. Gently pour 2-3 parts chilled soda water
  4. Stir gently and garnish with a lemon twist

Adjust the ratio to your taste, but aim for a crisp, refreshing balance that allows the whisky’s subtle flavours to shine through.

Conclusion Of The Best Japanese Whiskies for Highballs

Japanese whisky producers have honed their craft to create expressions tailored specifically to the art of the highball. With their mellow, approachable flavours and smooth drinkability, these whiskies make magic when blended with bubbly soda water and fresh citrus.

As we look ahead to 2024, highball culture will continue to thrive, with an outstanding range of whiskies now available for exploring Japanese highballs at home. Just add your favourite whisky, crisp soda water, and a slice of citrus, and imbibe in the hedonistic delight. Kanpai!

Disclaimers:

  • Prices and availability are subject to change due to the dynamic nature of the whisky market.
  • Taste is subjective; what may be an exceptional whisky to one may differ from another. The selections above aim to cater to a broad audience.

FAQs Of The Best Japanese Whiskies for Highballs in 2024

Which whiskey is best for a highball?

Many Japanese whiskies make great highballs. Try blends like Suntory Toki or Nikka Coffey Grain, specifically designed for this drink.

What is a Japanese whiskey highball?

A Japanese whiskey highball is a refreshing cocktail made with Japanese whisky, ice, and soda water – sometimes with a lemon twist.

Suntory whiskies are immensely popular in Japan, especially Yamazaki and Hibiki. Nikka is another beloved brand.

Highballs are popular in Japan because they’re light, refreshing, and let the subtle flavors of Japanese whisky shine through.

What is a Yamazaki highball?

A Yamazaki highball is a highball specifically made with Yamazaki single malt whisky, known for its premium quality and flavour.

What is the Japanese highball called?

The Japanese word for highball is simply “haibōru” (ハイボール).

How to order a highball in Japanese?

To order a highball in Japanese, you would say “haibōru onegaishimasu” (ハイボール お願いします) which means “highball, please”.

What is a highball in Tokyo?

A highball in Tokyo is the same as anywhere else – Japanese whisky, soda water, and ice. Some bars might offer unique variations.

What percentage of alcohol is in a Japanese highball?

The alcohol content in a Japanese highball depends on the whisky and soda ratio but generally ranges from 7-9% ABV.

Disclaimer: Prices and availability are subject to change due to the dynamic nature of the whisky market. Taste is subjective; what may be an exceptional whisky to one may differ for another.

About the author

10 responses to “The Best Japanese Whiskies for Highballs in 2024”

  1. […] Best Japanese whiskies for highballs in 2024, where grain whiskies’ elegance is spotlighted. […]

  2. […] The Japanese Highball: This popular drink highlights the whisky’s refreshing qualities. For an immersive experience, check out our guide to Best Japanese Whiskies for Highballs in 2024. […]

  3. […] Elevate your Old Fashioned or make a refreshing Highball with soda water (find more inspiration in our guide to the best Japanese whiskies for highballs in 2024) […]

  4. […] Try a Hakushu Old Fashioned with shiso tincture and umeboshi, or a Honeycrisp 75 (think Japanese French 75). Explore our guide for more best Japanese whiskies for highballs in 2024. […]

  5. […] more inspiration? Discover the best Japanese whiskies for highballs in 2024 for a world of delicious possibilities. Explore various flavour profiles and mixing […]

  6. […] for whisky cocktails. Its smoothness and balanced flavour profile make it a great companion for a highball or a simple whisky and soda, offering a refreshing way to enjoy Japanese […]

  7. […] In the realm of Japanese whiskey, rice plays a fascinating role, offering a unique twist on traditional whiskey production. While malted barley remains the primary grain, the inclusion of rice—whether as a fermentable grain or through the use of koji mould—adds a distinctive flair to the spirit. As the debate around rice whiskey and its place within the Japanese whiskey category continues, one thing is clear: the world of Japanese whiskey is rich, diverse, and ever-evolving. For more inspiration, explore our guide to the best Japanese whiskies for highballs in 2024. […]

  8. […] Suntory, one of the pioneers of Japanese whisky, introduced Toki as a blend that represents the modern era of Japanese whisky-making. Toki offers a light, refreshing taste with notes of green apple, honey, ginger, and white pepper, making it a versatile choice for crafting highballs. […]

  9. […] For more recommendations, check out our guide to the Best Japanese Whiskies for Highballs in 2024. […]

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