Friday, May 29, 2015

A new whisky bar in Hong Kong: Club Qing

Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
We have good news for those of you who are based in or frequently travel to Hong Kong: a new whisky bar is opening its doors for the first time today. Big deal, you think... Well, yes, because this is no run-of-the-mill whisky bar. Aaron Chan, the driving force behind the project, is an aficionado of Japanese whiskies - and has been for the past 8 years - so the main attraction will be the selection of malts from the land of the rising sun. He will have 150 different bottles of Japanese whisky open at any given time. Even in Japan, there are few bars that can make such a claim, so reason for joy, indeed.
Club Qing used to be a multi-award winning restaurant serving a plethora of exquisite Chinese food. Earlier this year, owner Aaron Chan decided to take his love for Japanese whisky up a notch and turn his restaurant into an actual whisky bar. The new bar retains the name "Club Qing" and is situated on the 10th floor of a building in a very popular bar area of Hong Kong. (Google is your friend!)  Behind the heavy antique-style wooden front doors is a cozy and comfortable bar area with warm wood tones. The whisky selection at Club Qing is phenomenal, from regular bottlings of Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki, Yoichi, Miyagikyo etc... to more exotic single casks of Karuizawa, Hanyu, Chichibu, Kagoshima, Mars, and Fuji Gotemba, to name just a few.  It also features a selection of Japanese bottles from yesteryear (e.g Karuizawa's from the Ocean era) and Scotch whiskies released from the 60's - 80's, making it - without a shadow of a doubt - the most interesting bar to visit in Hong Kong. Sure, there are a few other places, but they are either limited in terms of choice or exorbitantly expensive. Club Qing gives us the best of both worlds: a huge variety at prices that won't break the bank.
Long-time readers of Nonjatta will know that Aaron has been spreading the gospel of Japanese whisky for a long time, so there are very few people in the world better placed to run a Japanese whisky bar.
He has been drinking and collecting Japanese whiskies for more than eight years and is very knowledgeable. Some of the bottles at the bar are from his vast collection, so there are some truly rare gems to be found there. There will also be a corner at Club Qing for Aaron to showcase some of his collection - including various Karuizawa single casks and a full set (54 bottles) of the Hanyu Playing Card Series.
If you haven't thought of an excuse to visit Hong Kong this summer, well, you'd better start thinking! Nonjatta wishes Club Qing the very best - it's exciting news to have a place where people can actually drink Japanese whisky, as opposed to just watch it disappear (which is happening in Japan, with so many releases being discontinued) or go up in price on the secondary market!

Club Qing
Address: 10/F, Cosmos Building, 8-11 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 9379-7628  (voice call & whatsapp)
Hours: 5:30pm - 12:00 midnight (closed on Sundays)
FB: clubqing

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