Our journey into the world of Japanese whisky began in 2016, when I had the privilege of being introduced to this exquisite spirit by my father-in-law, Mr. Qiao. During my visit to Tokyo, he graciously presented me with a range of Japanese whiskies. Those beautiful Japanese whiskies helped me break the ice with him that night, as I was little bit nervous at the beginning. I was quite surprised with the quality and the long history of whisky production in Japan, being of Scottish descent I previously had the belief that Scotch was the best whisky in the world.
On my departure back home to Melbourne, Mr Qiao gave me a few bottles to take home. On my flight home I delved into the world of Japanese whisky, I was captivated by its unparalleled quality and rich history. Little did I know that this encounter would ignite a passion that would ultimately lead to the creation of our company.
Inspired by my initial experience and the overwhelming positive response from friends and acquaintances when they tasted these exceptional whiskies that I returned home with, we embarked on a mission to make these treasures accessible to whisky enthusiasts in Australia. However, we soon discovered that sourcing Japanese whiskies outside of Japan was a challenge, both in terms of availability and affordability.
Motivated by our desire to share the beauty of Japanese whisky, we joined forces and envisioned a platform that would allow us to import and sell these exceptional spirits online in Australia. Our aspiration was to cater to a discerning clientele, consisting of individuals who appreciated the unique qualities of Japanese whisky. Hence, we named our venture Japanese Quality Whisky Society (JQWS). The initials “J” and “Q” representing our names James and Qiao.
In August 2016, we officially registered our company marking the beginning of an exciting chapter in our lives. The demand for Japanese whisky grew rapidly, surpassing all our expectations. However, we soon realized that we needed more to meet the ever-increasing demand, as even prominent distilleries like Suntory, Asahi, Nikka, and Kirin were unable to keep up.
Our relentless pursuit of excellence led us on an extraordinary journey through the idyllic rural landscapes of Japan. Immersed in this captivating environment, we embarked on a quest to uncover the most exceptional distilleries and taste the essence of Japanese whisky craftsmanship. Guided by our unwavering commitment to deliver unrivalled quality, remarkable branding, and unmatched customer satisfaction, we endeavoured to bring the finest Japanese whiskies to discerning consumers in Australia.
In 2019, we proudly forged exclusive partnerships with four distinguished distilleries: Shinobu, Chiyomusubi, Nagahama, and Senjo Brewery. These esteemed brands, carefully selected for their unparalleled expertise, exemplify the pinnacle of Japanese whisky production. Through meticulous importation and distribution processes, we ensured that these extraordinary spirits would find their way into the glasses of Australian enthusiasts.
“Reveal extraordinary Japanese spirits while fostering a vibrant community of enthusiasts in Australia and New Zealand”
To provide consumers with the opportunity to indulge in an extraordinary array of whiskies, gins, vodkas, sakes, Shochu’s, and beers from Japan. At Japanese Quality Whisky Society, we are more than just a whisky retailer; we are a community united by a shared appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship embodied in Japanese spirits.
The Spirit of Japan, Delivered in Australia ‘Retail, Importer & Wholesale Access’
Much of Japanese culture is founded on the idea of ‘kaizen’; the relentless pursuit of perfection, the art of absolutes. Think origami, sushi, bonsai, ikebana, or any number of uniquely Japanese pursuits – perfection is held above almost all other qualities. Japanese whisky is no different, and the past few years has seen the Australian market develop an insatiable appetite for Japanese distillers’ quest for perfection – and we’ve made it our mission to supply it to them.
We are Japanese Quality Whisky Society (JQWS). We’re the direct importers and wholesalers of a range of fine and unique artisan Japanese spirits.
We are Japanese Quality Whisky Society (JQWS). We’re the direct importers and wholesalers of a range of fine and unique artisan Japanese spirits. We specialise in whiskies that predominantly feature unique oak finishes such as Mizunara oak, sherry cask and Yamazakura oak finish spirits. We have a passion and the utmost belief that Japanese whisky is some of the finest in the world, with our unique collections of Japanese whiskies carefully curated to ensure that our customers receive only the finest spirits at an affordable price.
Japanese whiskies are unique from their global counterparts largely due to their emphasis on pure soft water and master blending techniques. Blending refers to combining spirits from different barrels to create a complex whole. The distillation process uses soft refined pure water unlike anywhere else in the world, and this leads to the remarkable elegant, lifted complexity, depth, and soft flavour in every bottle.
Some whiskies are slightly peated, others lightly or not at all; different yeasts and stills help shape different flavours, and the casks – whether of new mizunara oak, sherry, bourbon, yamazakura or re-charred casks impart flavour of their own. With these variables, the distiller has room to innovate beyond its age-statement whiskies. Our Japanese Gin’s are artisan small batch premium craft spirits. Specializing in botanical ingredients from Japan. The Sake and Shochu’s portfolio are produced from ancient century old producers, that create unique, affordable and quality white spirits. Our Sparkling Sake Sorah from Chiyamusubi Distillery is Japan’s #1 sparkling Sake is produced with Junmai Daiginjo premium sake, using Methold Traditional fermentation.
Our Whisky ranges are available nationwide via Dan Murphy’s, Costco and Coles, and support a known presence in the marketplace. National, Independent DBS and On-premise channels have availability, good accessibility and offer similar purchase platforms to encourage a uniformed approach in the market.