The World’s Best Japanese Whisky

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A worker sweeps leaves below a historic spirit still at Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. Nestled at the foot of wooded hills near the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto, the Yamazaki whisky distillery feels a long way from the northerly glens of Scotch’s spiritual home. Despite its unlikely birthplace, last month Yamazaki’s Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 trumped more than a thousand challengers to be named the world’s best whisky by leading critic Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible 2015. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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A bartender pours Yamazaki whisky at the Hibiya whisky bar in the Ginza district in Tokyo December 2, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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A woman leaves the Hibiya whisky bar in the Ginza district in Tokyo December 2, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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A bartender pours Yamazaki whisky at the Hibiya whisky bar in the Ginza district in Tokyo December 2, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Visitors take pictures in the garden of Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery stands on a hillside in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery is pictured through foliage in autumn colours in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Workers check on casks in Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Senior General Manager of Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery Takahisa Fujii poses in the distillery’s cask storage in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Senior General Manager of Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery Takahisa Fujii knocks on whisky casks to check its levels in the distillery’s storage in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Twelve-year-old whisky matures in an oak cask, fitted with a glass front and back for display purposes, at Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Senior General Manager of Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery Takahisa Fujii stands in front of the distillery’s oldest cask, filled in 1924, in its storage in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Whisky casks are stored at Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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A worker stands in front of whisky casks at Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Suntory’s Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo samples whisky during a presentation of Suntory Holdings’ whiskies in Tokyo November 13, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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A monument to distillery founder Shinjiro Torii and his son, Keizo Saji, its second generation master blender, stands in the compound of Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Various samples of whisky are seen in the whisky library of Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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A bamboo forest is pictured behind Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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The Tenouzan tunnel for the Meishin highway cuts through the forest behind Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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The coat of arms of Suntory whisky is seen at a historic spirit still at Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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A worker takes a sample from a spirit still at Suntory Holdings’ Yamazaki Distillery in Shimamoto town, Osaka prefecture, near Kyoto, December 1, 2014. (Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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