Empty shelves have become the norm at Japanese liquor stores that stock Hibiki, Yamazaki and other premium Japanese whiskies.
According to a recent article in the Nikkei Asian Review, the duty-free shop at the Haneda Airport usually sells out of their small stock of Hibiki within ten minutes. In other words, if you don’t have a crazy early flight, you’re out of luck.
But in this case, winning such global acclaim isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, especially since aged whiskies tend to be more popular. Because the aging process takes a while, it can be hard to restock shelves efficiently, leaving stores empty and distillers producing at max capacity.
And boy is the whisky selling fast. In the past five years, Japanese whisky sales to the US grew by over 1000 percent, according to Forbes.
Those insane numbers mean only one thing: if you want premium Japanese whisky, hop on a flight ASAP. Soon, your search might get a whole lot trickier.