The $50 Japanese Whisky Shot That Australian Bar Flies Are Frothing Over

$50 for a shot seems like a lot, but it could actually be amazing value...

The $50 Japanese Whisky Shot That Australian Bar Flies Are Frothing Over

Image: Nikka Whisky

Anyone who’s tried to buy a bottle of top-shelf Japanese whisky in Australia right now will probably know how hard it is. Thankfully, Japanese whisky maker Nikka is giving Aussies a chance to guarantee a sip of one of their most coveted drops… At a price.

Nikka is one of the most respected names in Japanese whisky. Even complete whisky novices have probably heard of Nikka From The Barrel, which ranks as one of the best intros to premium Japanese whiskies one can hope to put past one’s lips.

Now, Nikka has announced they’re introducing the rare and highly-anticipated Yoichi 10 Year Old single malt to the Australian market. Smoky, savoury, malty and fruity, Yoichi 10 has a well-deserved reputation as one of Nikka’s (and Japan’s) finest whiskies.

But there’s a twist: Yoichi 10 will be an exclusive release only available at ultra-premium whisky and cocktail bars, and at a pretty eye-watering $50 for a 30ml shot.

That sounds pretty ludicrous, but actually, that’s not as crazy as that sounds – let us explain.

A bottle of Yoichi 10 Year Old. Image: Nikka Whisky

Only 360 bottles of Yoichi 10 have been released to the Australian market. That means it’s already in pretty short supply, so making it a venue-only deal sort of makes sense.

Let’s also contextualise how much Yoichi 10 is worth. Bottles of Yoichi 10 regularly sell for well over AU$1,000 – and good luck finding a bottle in Australia, or finding a vendor who’ll ship to Australia…

The price per shot also has a lot to do with how small this Yoichi 10 release is. It’s the first aged statement Nikka has released from Yoichi in 7 years (after the Yoichi and Miyagikyo age statements were discontinued in 2015) and they only released 9,000 bottles – the vast majority of which were earmarked for the Japanese domestic market.

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In that sense, the fact that Australia – a comparatively small market – was able to secure 360 bottles is pretty impressive. It speaks to how popular high-end Japanese whisky has become Down Under.

With that in mind, the fact that they’re only available at bars is kind of a win for consumers. Rather than a few cashed-up collectors squirrelling away all the bottles, this gives average punters (well, if you can really call someone happy to spend $50 for a single shot ‘average’) a fairer chance of actually enjoying a dram.

“Whisky sales have seen incredible growth in Australia. In the past two years, Australians’ thirst for Nikka products has risen massively, with a 50% increase in case allocations to meet this demand,” Nikka Whisky brand ambassador Marcus Parmenter says.

The Baxter Inn in Sydney, one of the few venues where you’ll be able to try Yoichi 10. Image: Swillhouse

Marcus also points out that Aussies are embracing premium whiskies like never before – indeed, whisky is now the fastest-growing spirit segment in the country.

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We have it on good authority that allocations of Yoichi 10 may grow for the Aussie market – but until then, you better make your way to one of the few bars around the country that are serving this Japanese liquid gold. Just don’t put it in a highball.

Where can I try Yoichi 10 in Australia?

  • Whisky And Alement – VIC 
  • Whisky Den – VIC 
  • One or Two – VIC 
  • The Everleigh – VIC 
  • Elysian Whisky Bar – VIC 
  • Eau De Vie – VIC/NSW 
  • Burrow Bar – NSW
  • Baxter Inn – NSW
  • Savile Row – QLD 
  • Hains & Co – SA