Regardless of which city or country you reside in, there are always a handful of supermarkets that sell their own home brand products. This can range from an imitation packet of your favourite biscuits to cheap nasty soft drink. But how many of you can actually say they have seen home brand whisky? I believe the British supermarket TESCO has their own branded whisky that includes not only blends but also single malts. But other then this and in my time, I have not seen or heard of any other establishments that do, until I went meat shopping for my long weekend BBQ.
On the shelf at one of the local Suma supermarkets appropriately named Max Value, a heavily cheap looking label caught my eye. I didn’t know whether to be appalled or amused when I further inspected the Top Valu (value without an “e”) blended whisky. For a shockingly low price of 598 yen (about $7), a 720 ml bottle of blended whisky with an ABV of 37% can be yours, providing you want to take the challenge.
The whisky that also comes in a 2.7 plastic litre bottle states that it’s a smooth drinking whisky with an appealing taste. Propped right up next to the soda water section, one can only assume this has been massed produced to cater for the highball boom. Unfortunately the label didn’t state any specifics (not that I could clearly work out) but out of interest I will try and obtain more information as to where some of the whisky has come from and whether in fact it is distilled in Japan. It certainly makes you wonder considering two of the biggest Japanese distilleries don’t even have their cheapest 700ml blends under a retail price of 1000 yen.