Oh Dear God. Say It Ain’t So.

Televisions. Motorcycles. VCRs. Microwaves. Cars. Handheld computers. All things the West used to make, and make well, only to be eclipsed by our friends in Japan.

Unfortunately, we must now add whiskey to that list, since the 20-year-old Nikka Yoichi, distilled in Hokkaido — which is decidedly not in the Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, or Islay — beat heavyweights such as the Lagavulin 16-year-old and 12-year-olds from Cragganmore and Balvenie in a blind tasting.

My beloved Islay came in second; the 12-year-old Yoichi was third, followed by the Balvenie, the 10-year-old Yoichi (oh! the agony!), and the Cragganmore (which I’ve always felt was overrated anyway).

Frank? This is what we want for Christmas. It’ll drive Lindsey nuts. Of course, it’s also $250 for the one that’s almost old enough to drink itself, so I’ll settle for the 12-year-old, which is a paltry $87.

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