Bottles of award-winning Japanese Suntory Hibiki blended whisky, on display at the 'Whisky Live Tokyo 2012, Tokyo International Bar Show', on May 5, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. The annual two-day event sees Scottish and Japanese whisky companies showcasing their spirits to the public, and offering their alcoholic drinks for tasting and sampling. This year was the 12th Whisky Live to be held in Tokyo, and the event concludes on Sunday May 6th. (Photo by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images)

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Inside the Japanese Whisky Shortage

Poduction cuts a decade ago are rearing their ugly head today.

Japan is facing a whisky shortage, according to a story in Kotaku. The company Suntory announced yesterday that its Hakushu 12-year-old and its Hibiki 17-year-old will soon no longer be available for sale.

These two whisky bottlings are the latest in a trend of Japanese whisky-sellers having to take their product off shelves due to lack of supply. The trend is many years in the making. In the early and mid-2000s, whisky was not selling particularly well in Japan, leading whisky-makers to slow their production.

Japenese whisky, of course, needs time to mature, thus the production cuts of 10-15 years ago are rearing their ugly head in 2018 as demand is much higher. A 2014 spike in popularity due to a TV show about Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japanese whisky, also helped deplete sellers’ current reserves.  The shortage, unfortunately, may only get worse.

Read the full story at Kotaku