A few weeks ago, we spent the better part of the day at the annual Whisky Festival in Tokyo. Organized by the Scotch Whisky Research Centre, this has quickly become one of the most anticipated whisky events of the year in Japan. With TIBS/Whisky Live leaving the real whisky aficionado somewhat wanting this year, we heard many people comment that the Whisky Festival in Tokyo was what they had been waiting for all year long.
|The festival bottlings: Caperdonich 1994 (l) and Blair Athol 1991 (r).|
© Howard Weitzman
The festival provided further evidence – if any was needed – that the big boys (Suntory and Nikka) have abandoned the hard-core whisky fan base that saw them through the hard times before the current (post-2009) highball boom. Volume is the order of the day, now – and small-batch limited editions or single cask releases are just a drop in the bucket and too much hassle to deal with from their point of view… hence nothing special was to be found at their respective booths. (One wonders whether the PR departments at either company have any idea of the specific demographics of the various whisky festivals in Japan – as the Whisky Festival in Tokyo is clearly aimed at the whisky connoisseur rather than the casual drinker.)
|© Howard Weitzman|
|© Hombo Shuzou|