If your whisky exploration takes you to Japan, then Yamazaki should be one of the first you try.

That’s because Yamazaki is the birthplace of Japanese whisky. The distillery opened in the early-1920s in an area of Japan between Kyoto and Osaka, and its distillers and blenders haven’t looked back since.

If your exploration is a quick, one-bottle tour, then go straight to the best and choose the Yamazaki 18 Year Single Malt. Trust me. You can taste Japanese whisky’s roots and prestige in this bottle.

Over the last few years, this whisky has won countless awards at international spirit competitions. Evidence of these accolades comes shortly after this whisky is poured into a snifter. Its nose offers hints of sherry, as well as citrus notes. A taste treats lucky drinkers to a medium-body whisky with earthen notes—taste those roots—and a fruity finish.

This coveted 18 Year won’t disappoint your palette, but don’t expect to walk into your fine spirits shop and take it off the shelf. Japanese whiskys older than 12 years are increasingly difficult to find, so you may have to dish out the yen and patiently wait to get this one on your shelf.