Having always wanted to be a sophisticated Scotch guy, I only ventured to higher end whisky brands that was naturally, Scottish made. I wasn't wrong with this, however I was quite ignorant to whiskies, themselves. While there's nothing wrong with a good Scotch, that type of whiskies doesn't cause a local and global stir like simple economics of Japanese whiskies. There is strong demand for these popular and award winning whiskies leading to shortages and higher prices also.
Other than supply and demand, there's unique perspectives of Japanese whiskies and real the impact to other goods. Such as stated in the article of the rice farmer, a good such as the whiskies with the barley imports is influencing local rice production such that the paddy's owner is becoming a niche marketer. The paddy farmer decided instead of suffering a decreasing rice market for alcohol production to shift his market to barley. It would be interesting to see associated marginal costs for the farmers after increased local production and the distilleries, pre- and post, the increase of local production and further more the purchase of local goods. Obviously, there must be enough financial justification for the paddy farmers' decision, to switch to or incorporate barley farming.
The article makes an interesting assertion about locally grown barley, that it costs five times as much The Japanese government does provide subsidies for barley farms, which isn't much of a surprise considering Japan's global rank of importing and most countries have similar programs for other various types of farming. I am curious why is locally produced barley more expensive, but that's not for this post. However, I would like to see the financial details to show the effects of the decision of entering the barley market, even if it's just the short-run. Hopefully, I'm fortunate enough to try some Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013.