Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
“Japan Whisky Reviews” is a blog devoted exclusively to tasting notes of Japanese whiskies and it is, really, the only quality blog exploring this field. It’s the work of Michio Hayashi, who was born in Japan, but moved to Germany when he was two. His first contact with the amber liquid was in the form of Irish whiskey and then Islay whiskies. It wasn’t until he saw “Lost in Translation” that Michio decided to give Japanese whisky a try. Upon seeing the movie, he remembered the bottle of Hibiki had bought on a whim – it just happened to be a good deal – a few years before. He recognized his bottle in the movie, opened it and that’s when his interest in Japanese whisky really took off. Michio has grown particularly fond of Yamazaki and reckons the 1986 Yamazaki Mizunara for LMdW is his absolute favourite.
The Japanese whisky industry is notoriously secretive, so for a rare look behind the scenes, the following three resources are particularly useful:
- Chris Hoban of the “Edinburgh Whisky Blog” did an in-depth interview with Marcin Miller of No 1 Drinks. Parts 1, 2 and 3 are up already; the last instalment is under way.
- Tim Forbes of The Whisky Exchange has written a multi-part (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and more to come) account of his trip to Karuizawa and Chichibu early last year, when the Karuizawa partners (TWE, LMdW and Magny (Taiwan)) were over to check the remaining stock. Tim is taking his time, but his posts – part travel log, part reflections on various aspects to do with the reception of Karuizawa abroad – are well worth the wait.
- A few months ago we wrote about a special bottling to celebrate the Welsh writer C.W. Nicol’s 5 decades in Japan. He’s written a fascinating piece about his involvement with Nikka since the early 80s for the Japan Times entitled “All aglow with the ‘water of life’”. Read it online here.
We hope you’ll enjoy these excursions and hope to welcome you back with us tomorrow for our feature about the launch of the Karuizawa 1960 (including exclusive interviews with the people who made it happen).