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World Say "sayonara" to the fake Japanese whiskeys

11:00  19 february  2021
11:00  19 february  2021 Source:   korii.slate.fr

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Adieu, bibines trompeuses. | Changyoung Koh via Unsplash © Farewell, deceptive booze. | Changyoung Koh via Unsplash Farewell, deceitful booze. | Changyoung Koh via Unsplash

When a country or region has a prestigious product, it usually guards it jealously. French wines, Swiss cheeses, Scottish whiskeys… all must respect very precise origins and rules of know-how if they want to claim a particular label or prestigious appellation.

In Japan, whiskey has so far taken an almost opposite approach. However, although this is not a thousand-year-old tradition - the opening of the first whiskey distillery was in 1923 - the Japanese version of the beverage became popular very quickly, becoming one of the most famous on the planet.

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Although these spirits have received numerous awards and are recognized among the best, what really makes a whiskey a "Japanese whiskey"? The production techniques were not invented there, the cereals used are very rarely cultivated on the archipelago, and the wood from the barrels does not grow in the country.

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Many opportunists have therefore jumped into the breach. Some "Japanese" whiskeys are Scotch simply bottled in Japan and flanked by labels coated with kanji, others mix Scotch with Shochu, a Japanese brandy.

All this dilutes the brand image and customer confidence in the real distilleries that have allowed the Japanese beverage to enter the big leagues. To remedy this, the Association of Liquor and Spirits Producers, made up of companies in the sector, has finally determined the criteria for a whiskey to be considered Japanese.

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Nothing mandatory

In addition to certain obligations in terms of ingredients, the water used must be extracted in Japan, the saccharification, fermentation and distillation must take place in a Japanese distillery, and the liquid must have fermented for at least three years in the country.

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According to the association, if these criteria are not met, the drink sold should not be described as Japanese or use names of cities , regions, eras, flag, famous people or places that would evoke Japan.

However, these rules are not compulsory, unlike those which condition controlled appellations of origin, for example.

Indeed, if the Association of Liqueurs and Spirits Producers is recognized by the State, it is not governmental and therefore cannot promulgate laws or decrees.

However, she has powerful allies. The Whiskey Exchange, the world's largest seller of whiskey, has announced that it will reclassify whiskeys it considers Japanese based on these criteria.

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