Japanese Whisky, Best in the World

January 24, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. spirit /ˈspɪr ɪt/ (n.) – an alcoholic drink that has been distilled
Example: His bar has a variety of spirits as well as non-alcoholic beverages.

2. prestigious /prɛˈstɪdʒ əs/ (adj.) – having a high and respectable reputation
Example: His prestigious awards show his success.

3. connoisseur /ˌkɒn əˈsɜr, -ˈsʊər/ (n.) – someone who has the expertise to judge something
Example: Two wine connoisseurs will judge the international wine competition.

4. distillery /dɪˈstɪl ə ri/ (n.) – a place where distilled alcoholic drinks are produced
Example: The distillery produces whisky, vodka, and gin.

5. classic /ˈklæs ɪk/ (adj.) – being high quality because of authenticity and age
Example: He bought classic champagne glasses made of real crystal.


Read the text below.
Japan has been declared as the home of the world’s best whisky.

A Japanese whisky outshined 4,500 other spirits in the rankings of the prestigious guide book called Whisky Bible. The victorious drink, named Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013, was given a score of 97.5 over 100. According to Jim Murray [MUR-ee, MUHR-ee], whisky connoisseur and author of the book, the Japanese drink gives a powerfully bold flavor that has no equal.

Yamazaki, Japan’s first whisky distillery produced the said whisky. It is the first Japanese-made whisky to top the list. There are currently only 18,000 bottles of this whisky in the world.

Japan’s reputation in producing whisky was initially unfavorable. Previously, Japanese whisky was merely modeled after Scottish whisky. Aside from that, the country’s general appreciation of the drink was thought to be limited to cheap blends such as whisky mixed with water and soda. In recent years, however, Japanese distilleries have been developing their own methods to produce authentic Japanese whisky. Now, Japan has gained worldwide recognition in making fine whiskies.

While Japan has triumphed, Scotland’s failure to be in the top five ranks of Whisky Bible was deemed a disappointing surprise. The country is well-known for making the best whiskies in history.

Scottish whisky experts say that Scotland’s failure to be in the top is inevitable. Other countries are beginning to create their own whiskies and are discovering new styles and tastes, experts added. However, Murray stated that it was “poor quality” that led to the country’s defeat. He added that the blends he had tasted lacked the complexity and depth of taste that was unique to a classic Scottish whisky.   

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How can getting the top award in Whisky Bible contribute to Japan’s achievements?
·         In your opinion, how can this ranking affect Scotland’s sales of whisky?

Discussion B

·         Aside from whisky, what other beverages in your country have high potential to be recognized worldwide? Please discuss your answer.
·         How does your country show appreciation for people who bring honor like winning in international competitions? Please provide examples.

January 24, 2015