If you haven’t spent every moment of the last few months staring at the bottom of a glass, you’ve already heard Japan is king in the what’s-hot world of whiskey. Yes, everyone’s freaking out about that great new Japanese whiskey sensation, as if the world is shocked that it was made outside the English speaking world of post-colonial British haunts.
Suntory (the distributor of most of Japan’s whiskey) is in a great position right now: They have the world’s most sought-after spirit in the category (or maybe second to Pappy), and a tight grip on supply chains. It’s going to be difficult to get your hands on that award-winning bottle for the whiskey-lover in your life (read: you).
But Japan isn’t the only game in town. And even if you’re bored by offerings from Scotland, Ireland, the U.S., and Canada, there are still plenty of great countries making great whiskey. Some even won awards as recently as last year. So rather than waste time and money to scrounge up a bottle of Yamakazi, be adventurous on your own and sip the nectar of one of these other grain-fermenting lands.