Several Japanese whisky producers have recently abandoned age statements, such as with Nikka's Coffey Malt, Coffey Grain and Pure Malt Taketsuru and Suntory's Hibiki Harmony and Toki, made for mixing. Cherry Whisky, Mars Shinshu, Chichibu and Akashi are boutique distillery favorites. Particularly popular among Japanese patrons at the Imperial Hotel bars are Suntory Yamazaki 12 years and Suntory Hakushu, also 12 years. Some of the rarest served (upon request) are the almost sold-out special editions for Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday.All Scotch whisky was originally from malted barley. It's enjoyed in drams, and strictly speaking it should be made in Scotland to qualify as Scotch. Single malt Scotch is the model for Japanese whiskies, from a mash of malted barley. Americans from the American Expeditionary Force Siberia on shore leave in the picturesque and hilly open port city of Hakodate in Hokkaido in 1918 were probably the first Westerners to taste Japanese spirits - a highly potent brand called Queen George which was already widely available. Our bartenders will be delighted to discuss the unique characteristics of Japanese whiskies during your visit to any of our bars and lounges.19

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