Nikka From the Barrel, from where?
February 10, 2018 4:47 AM   Subscribe

I went to the Nikka Yoichi Distillery in Hokkaido this past week and fell in love with Nikka From the Barrel (as recommended by a previous question from 2016!). To my horror and despair, the distillery’s store was sold out and told me tough luck for the day. I’m in Tokyo now, and have been confusing every grocery and combini employee by asking them for Nikka FTB. I have a full day and some odd hours left in Japan before I fly back to the States. I’m at a loss where to go next. Where can I buy it in Tokyo?

I’m staying north of Shinjuku if that matters. I would highly prefer if I could find it within Shinjuku/Okubo, Shibuya, Roppongi, Ginza or related sub-neighborhoods. I’ve checked out multiple department store basement alcohol shops, the usual combini suspects, and the Bic Camera in Sapporo (but haven’t yet hit up any in Tokyo). No one seems to have heard of it either! I’m flying out of Haneda, although I hear the duty free shops at the airport are hit or miss. Any suggestions where I can find it?

Bonus: if I run out of luck and can’t find FTB anywhere, any recommendations for accessible whiskys to take home? (I liked this particular one because it was very smooth and easy to drink, so I thought it would make great gifts. I am not afraid of peat and smoke, although I am buying for a range of tastes.) I bought two tiny bottles of the Yoichi Single Malt at the distillery because that’s all they had left of the Single Malt 😭. Ideally hard to find in the US/Bay Area.

Thank you!!
posted by sums to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It seems to be mostly only available online. Kakuyasu has it, and they do deliveries apparently. Some people said they've seen it at Seijoishii supermarket and Don Quixote.
posted by Sar at 5:08 AM on February 10, 2018

If you’re near Shinjuku right now, I would go to Shot Bar Zoetrope in Nishi-Shinjuku and ask Atsushi, the owner/bartender, both of your questions. Atsushi probably knows more than anybody on the planet about rare Japanese whisky and how to source it.

For an actual liquor store, Liquor Mountain has locations in all of the neighborhoods you mention and usually has a good selection of whisky.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 5:37 AM on February 10, 2018

Seconding the suggestions so far. Yamaya is another chain with a branch in Shinjuku. The large department stores also have whisky, usually in the basement near the groceries (past all the prepared foods). There's always duty free at the airport for one last check. Some good info here.

If you're in the Bay Area, a lot more Japanese brands are becoming available at places like Cask and K&L. Prices in Japan are definitely cheaper though, and it can be easier to find age statement bottles.
posted by mshrike at 3:19 PM on February 10, 2018

Do NOT plan on getting anything at the Haneda duty free. It's a wasteland for Japanese whiskey, or at least it was as of mid December.
posted by JPD at 4:55 PM on February 10, 2018

THANK YOU so much for your quick and timely answers! I found two bottles at the Roppongi Don Quixote (good thing I ended up having to go to Roppongi last minute🤗)! I was unable to find it at Shinjuku Seijoishii Lumine, specialty liquor stores, or any of the department stores. I had such limited time and wasn’t able to hit up any Liquor Mountains, Liquors Hasegawa in Tokyo Station, or Zoetrope (or even to glance at the Haneda Duty Free ahahah), although I would have loved to. No age statements this time around, but perhaps next time I will be able to devote more time and energy to tasting and shopping.

If anyone is interested, I ended up purchasing:
- 2 bottles of Nikka From the Bottle from Don Quixote Roppongi
- 2 bottles of Akashi White Oak from Hasegawa Liquors in Azabujuban (when I thought I might not be able to find Nikka FTB)
- 2 tiny bottles of Nikka Yoichi Single Malt at the Yoichi Distillery (they were out of both the Yoichi Single Malt normal bottles, Nikka From the Barrel, and some versions of the Coffey Grain)
- 2 180ml bottles of Hakushu Single Malt Distiller’s Reserve (impulse buy on my way to the airport) for a dece price at a 7-11 in North Shinjuku/Okubo

Not too shabby for me in 24 hours :D Y’all will have made some of my friends VERY happy campers! Thank you!
posted by sums at 3:14 PM on February 12, 2018

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