Post by Nonjatta contributor Stefan of Tokyo Whisky Hub.
Whisky Magazine Japan's Bond #1 was kick-started today with a private tasting at Chotto Bar in Shinjuku's Golden Gai for a handful of members led by none other than maestro Dave Broom. Six whiskies were selected by the hosts to reflect a range of ages and styles and a few more were smuggled in - without any difficulty whatsoever - by the attendees. One of the highlights of the afternoon was a special Karuizawa bottling, which new Bond #1 members will be able to get their hands on at the Tokyo International Bar Show / Whisky Live this weekend ('nuff said): a 1984 ex-sherry, single cask... a wonderfully lush feast of stewed fruit and that subtle, smoky backdrop (bacon fat, smoked scallops, ...) that you often get with the best Karuizawas, which has nothing to do with peat but more with something like cereal ever-so-slightly-burnt. A stellar dram... with the most beautiful legs you're likely to see in Shinjuku's Kabukicho, and that's saying something!
Yours truly smuggled in the Ichiro's Cigar Malt (see my earlier post),
which proved to be a big hit: everyone agreed it was an unbelievably
enticing concoction of sweet and smoky notes, perfectly balanced, and
the general impression among the whisky anoraks when tasted blind was
that it had to have been at least 8 to 10 years old. Not so... If you
haven't picked up a bottle yet, I suggest you do so real soon. I know
some people who will! Another fantastic whisky we were able to taste was
the already legendary "Black Legend" Yamazaki (again, see below for
more information), courtesy of Nicholas Coldicott who put the whole
event together. It was dark as a dungeon but the nose and the palate
were wonderfully elegant, without any of the syrupy and tannic notes
that you sometimes get with (over-)matured ex-sherry whiskies. To quote
one of the other guests: "They did it again!"
To those who weren't there, I say: join Bond #1 and be there next time,
because from what I gathered, this won't be the least treat! There's
much more to come...