Episodes
In the 29th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman take a look back at the most important man in the history of Japanese whisky. Masataka Taketsuru not only build the Yamazaki Distillery for Suntory, but then set out on his own and founded Nikka. The ripples of his contribution are still being felt today.
Published 02/07/22
In the 28th and second episode of season two of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman dive into the huge increase in new Japanese whisky making licenses that have been issued in the past 5 years as well as who may be behind some of these new ventures.
Published 01/25/22
In the 27th and first episode of season two of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman tackle the sticky topic of the difference between malt vs. koji when it comes to breaking grains down into fermentable sugars.
Published 01/10/22
In the 26th and final episode of season one of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman reflect on the the year in review and muse about what might happen in season two.
Published 12/06/21
In the 25th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman take a closer look at the history and modern enjoyment of the original hard seltzer - the Japanese chuhai.
Published 11/15/21
In the 24th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman take a deep dive into shimazake (island spirits), which refers to those shochu and awamori not made on one of the 4 main islands of Japan. At least that's our working definition.
Published 11/01/21
In the 23rd episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman explore American shochu (made in the United States). American shochu is in its infancy, but there is a lot of creativity and experimentation.
Published 10/11/21
In the 22nd episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman explore Japanese whisky service styles. While many whisky lovers prefer their dram straight, Japan has a long history of whisky dilution. In fact, many premium Japanese whiskies are crafted with dilution in mind.
Published 09/27/21
In the 21st episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman explore hot shochu (read "warm") service styles for the traditional Japanese spirits of honkaku shochu and ryukyu awamori. While other styles exist these days, (listen to episode 20 on cold shochu styles) shochu served warm is probably most traditional.
Published 09/13/21
In the 20th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman explore cool shochu (read "cold") service styles for the traditional Japanese spirits of honkaku shochu and ryukyu awamori. While other styles exist these days, cool shochu service is most common throughout most of Japan.
Published 08/30/21
In the 19th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman make brief mention of Japanese vodka.
Published 08/17/21
In the 18th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman turn their noses into the wonderful style that they've taken to calling aromatic shochu.
Published 08/02/21
In the 17th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman take a look at an environmentally and historically important, but uncommon style of shochu. That is kasutori shochu made from the sake lees, or the solids remaining after sake production.
Published 07/19/21
In the 16th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman take a closer look at Japanese gin. While gin was first made in Japan over 200 years ago, it has really only taken root in the past few years.
Published 07/05/21
In the 15th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman take a deep dive into kokuto shochu. This continues a multi-part series breaking down the various styles of honkaku shochu, which are classified by ingredient type in the main fermentation.
Published 06/21/21
In the 14th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman take a deep dive into sweet potato shochu. This continues a multi-part series breaking down the various subcategories of honkaku shochu, which are classified by ingredient type in the main fermentation.
Published 06/07/21
In the 13th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman take a deeper dive into barley shochu. This continues a multi-part series breaking down the various subcategories of honkaku shochu, which are classified by ingredient type in the main fermentation.
Published 05/24/21
In the 12th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman take a deeper dive into rice shochu. This begins a multi-part series breaking down the various subcategories of honkaku shochu, which are classified by ingredient type in the main fermentation.
Published 05/10/21
In the 11th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman tackle their most controversial topic yet: shochu vs. soju. One made in Japan (shochu) and one made in Korea. A previous post on kanpai.us ended up garnering the most visits and more comments than usual, many defending soju. Well, we are here to set the record straight.
Published 04/26/21
In this episode we explain the differences between Japanese sake and shochu (and awamori). They are uniquely Japanese due to some key similarities, but their key differences make them very different in how we enjoy them.
Published 04/12/21
In this episode we explain the differences between honkaku, otsurui, korui, konwa, single distilled, multiply distilled, and white liquor categories of shochu in Japan.
Published 03/29/21
In the 8th episode of the Japan Distilled podcast, your hosts Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman reflect on what defines authentic whisky in Japan and abroad. In this fourth and final part of our series on Japanese whiskies, we ask a few questions that sent us down a rabbit hole of ideas and suggestions that the Japanese whisky industry may never consider, but we enjoyed discussing.
Published 03/15/21
Christopher Pellegrini and Stephen Lyman introduce the newly announced Japanese whisky standards. In this third of a planned four-part series on Japanese whiskies, we dive into the production quality standards, labeling rules, and other arcane parts of the new guidance issued by the Japanese Spirits and Liqueur Makers Association (JSLMA). These voluntary standards go into effect April 1, 2021 and JSLMA members are expected to be fully compliant by March 31, 2024.
Published 03/08/21
In this episode we explore how Japan's best whiskies rose from obscurity to beat the best Scotch whiskies in the world in their own backyard.
Published 03/01/21
In this first of a 3 part series, we tackle the origins of Japanese whisky from the samurai's first taste to the collapse of the Japanese whisky industry in the wake of the bubble burst.
Published 02/15/21