Drinks

Where to Buy Japanese Whisky in Orange County

*Main feature image courtesy of Beam Suntory, Inc.

It does not seem too long ago that Japanese whiskies were somewhat modestly priced, but those days are long gone which means that Yamazaki 12 I gave as a gift, I wish I had kept it for myself (yea, I said that).

nikka-whisky-featured-image
I got to admit, I’m team Nikka (yea, I know there’s no teams, but if I had to choose a team). Image courtesy of Nikka

I primarily focused on Suntory and Nikka products because they offer some of the best and widest range of whiskies although some of the places listed will carry more than just these two brands.

My Short List:

Why such a short list? It can be frustratingly annoying to consistently find the product at a somewhat decent price, so the spots listed below are the most consistent.

Inventory and pricing at your store will vary and are subject to change at any time.

1. CostCo – costco.com

Locations: Fullerton, Garden Grove, Alton Marketplace, Tustin, The District, Bella Terra, San Juan Capistrano, Fountain Valley, Westminster, Laguna Niguel, Yorba Linda, La Habra.
Brands:
Suntory, Nikka
Pricing/availability: I don’t even have a CostCo membership, but everybody I know who drinks knows that this is the spot for Japanese whisky. Not only do they carry a decent range, but like always, the pricing is as good as it gets.

2. BevMo – bevmo.com

Locations (storelocator): Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Cypress, Lake Forest, Orange, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Anaheim Hills, Ladera Ranch
Brands:
Suntory, Nikka, Iwai, Ohishi, Chichibu, Fukano, Kikori
Pricing/availability: one of the most competitively priced places to buy alcohol/spirits; whisky, beer, etc, so I had to have them on the list because BevMo and Hi-Times are my go-to places. Especially for Glenfiddich because I can’t afford to drink Nikka casually all day, everyday when Glenfiddich is as low as $28.99-32.99.

3. Hi-Times Wine Cellars – hitimewine.net

Locations: Costa Mesa
Brands:
Suntory, Nikka, Iwai, and number of others.
Pricing/availability: not only do they have a good selection of the usual suspects of Japanese whisky, but they also have some super pricy and exclusive ones too that you don’t just come across on a usual basis. It that isn’t a big enough draw, they also have other whiskies, Bourbons, and Scotches, along with a very knowledgeable staff and this is where I met my leg hugging homie WhiskyAnorach.

4. Tokyo Central – tokyocentral.com

Locations: Costa Mesa
Brands:
Suntory, Nikka, White Oak, and a number of others.
Pricing/availability: who would have thought a Japanese market would have it? Everybody that’s who, it’s Japanese whisky and a Japanese market, but what I was not expecting was such uncompetitive or average pricing. I mean, I thought they’d be like “hey, you’re a Japanese company, and we’re a Japanese company, so we’re going to hook it up.” Well, that wasn’t happening.

Whisky Company Information

I have been wanting to do this post because I have always found it hard to find a reliable source with competitive pricing, and so far, all I have is the above list because aside from Suntory, most of the distilleries and distributors don’t make it easy on you.

Whisky.Suntory.com

  • Product lineup: Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki, and Toki
  • Dealer locator: lists stores, but there’s no way of knowing what their product line-up is like.

Nikka.com

  • Product lineup: Taketsuru, Whisky from the Barrel, Coffey Grain/Malt Whisky, Single Malt Yoichi/Miyagikyo, the Nikka
  • Dealer locator: N/A

Mars Shinshu (Tokiwa Imports)

  • Product lineup: Iwai Whisky and Tradition
  • Wholesale only: Young’s Market is where the service industry goes to for their needs.
  • Dealer locator: N/A

Chichibu (Tokiwa Imports)

  • Product lineup: Ichiro’s
  • Dealer locator: N/A

White Oak (Tokiwa Imports)

  • Product lineup: Akashi single malt/whisky
  • Dealer locator: N/A

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.