Nobu Is Home To The World's Rarest Japanese Whisky

The world's rarest Japanese whisky isn't locked up in a private collector's vault or in the Japanese emperor's office. Perhaps surprisingly, it can be enjoyed by anyone who has access to one of the acclaimed Nobu restaurants found around the world. Since the first Nobu restaurant was opened in New York City in 1994 by chef Nobu Matsuhisha and Robert De Niro, according to Forbes, additional locations have served diners in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Caribbean, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

What sets Nobu restaurants apart is their unique way of including Japanese and Peruvian flavors. Matsuhisha grew up in Japan and was influenced by his mother's scratch preparation of Japanese dishes. He was also impacted by his time working in Peru before immigrating to the United States. The menu he ended up building for his restaurants includes Japanese-Peruvian fusion food like lamb chop anticucho, which is comprised of grilled Colorado lamb chops and served with Peruvian anticucho sauce. The menu also includes many other traditional Japanese dishes like sushi. But above all else, quality is important for Matsuhisha, who prides himself on using prime ingredients. As such, the cost is higher than many restaurants, but Matsuhisha told CNBC that higher quality ingredients result in higher prices on the menu.

Considering Matsuhisha's focus on quality, perhaps it is no surprise that his restaurants would be in possession of the world's rarest whisky.

An exclusive partnership

Step into a Nobu restaurant, and you might be able to enjoy a pour from a very rare bottle of Japanese whisky made by coveted distiller Yamazaki, reports Food & Wine. Yamazaki has earned a reputation for releasing highly sought-after whiskies. In 2021, 100 bottles of Yamazaki from the House of Suntory were released. What made these bottles so special was that the liquor they contained had been aged for 55 years. The anticipated price for the single malt whiskey at release was $60,000 per bottle, but it was selling for at least $600,000 on the secondary market. According to the company's website, the five-decades-old bottle of whisky was distilled by Master Blender Keizo Saji in 1960.

Feeling discouraged about your ability to try a well-aged whisky from Yamazaki? No need to fret because you can taste an even rarer version of Yamazaki whisky at a Nobu location. According to Food & Wine, Matsuhisa has worked with the Japanese distiller on a private bottling. The single malt whisky is available at some of the most popular Nobu locations, including the restaurant inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. In total, Yamazaki made 250 bottles of the special whiskey for Nobu, a first for the company that hadn't produced whisky for a restaurant or bar since it was built near Kyoto, Japan, in 1923. To try an ounce of the rare Yamazaki whiskey, expect to pay $200, per Food & Wine.