Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Jun 24, 2021

In this fascinating deep dive on Japanese Whisky, past and present, some of the topics I discuss with Nicholas Pollacchi of Shibui Whisky include:

  • The complicated history of Japanese whisky making, including the sharp left turn that makes this tradition diverge (and reconnect) surprisingly with other world whisky traditions.
  • How Shibui is looking to help Japanese distillers and master blenders embrace a new, more collaborative mindset and source more compelling cooperage.
  • Then, we embark upon an ambitious, 7-spirit tasting that spans Shibui’s Niigata and Okinawa collections, showcasing wheat, malt, and rice whiskies from some of Japan’s best artisan distillers.
  • During this tasting, we cover the nuances of different grain bases and barrel finishes (including the legendary mizunara oak grown in Japan), as well as different ways to think about Japanese whisky in the greater world whisky landscape.
  • Along the way, we discuss the difference between whisky and Okinowan Awamori, the effects of colonialism on the Japanese approach to distilled spirits, what to drink with legendary Scotch distiller William Grant, and much, much more.

This episode is brought to you by Near Country Provisions. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic and want to enjoy ethically raised (and delicious) meat from local farmers delivered to your door every month, then you need Near Country in your life.

Head over to and enter the code BARCART when you sign up for your subscription to receive 2 free pounds of bacon or ground beef in your first delivery.