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Shibui is a new, independent bottler, who sources, blends, and bottles some of the finest, most distinctive whiskies from around the world. In the Japanese language, shibui means “tasteful”, or “old school cool” (this conjures up Steve McQueen or Nina Simone for us). Apply this term to whisky, and we’re presented with some of the most interesting, and affordable, bottles on the market. We’ve selected these two bottlings (of the nine released in the US) for their unique character, value, and overall drinkability.
From Christopher Null of Drink Hacker: “A blend of Niigata Japanese and Lowland Scotch whiskies, 100% distilled from wheat. Casking in bourbon, oloroso sherry, and Mizunara oak; no age statement. Quiet, surprisingly salty on the nose, with notes of tea leaf, a touch of smoke, some green granary notes. It’s much sweeter on the palate, with notes of citrus, shortbread biscuits, and again an herbal note that evokes rosemary on the finish. Bolder and more interesting than the typical entry-level spirit, and definitely worth picking up if you want to get an introduction to what Shibui is all about.”