A few more weeks, and Whisky Live Tokyo 2015 is upon us. For those who were living on a different planet the past few months: it’s Saturday, 19 September at Akiba Square in Akihabara, Tokyo from 12 noon to 6pm.
recent interview with him!), many industry folks from Scotland, Japan and elsewhere will be attending Whisky Live Tokyo 2015: Mark Watt (Cadenhead’s), Douglas Cook (Glendronach), David Allen (Springbank), Andy Hogan (Duncan Taylor), Peter Wills (Kilchoman), Stewart Harvey (Pulteney), Antonio Bleve (Samaroli), etc. There won’t be any ‘masterclasses’ but there’s a fabulous stage program throughout the day. At 12:30, Dave Broom will be hosting a panel discussion with Akuto-san (Venture Whisky), Sakuma-san (Nikka chief blender), Fukuyo-san (Suntory chief blender), Tanaka-san (Kirin chief blender) about the “future prospects of Japanese whisky”. Fukuyo-san and Sakuma-san will be speaking solo a little later in the day, about the potential of grain whisky (at 14:15) and the characteristics of blended malt (at 16:00) respectively. The last stage event is a blending “Battle Royal” in which 3 participants from the audience will take part... together with Mark Watt. Guaranteed to be hilarious!
There will be a plethora of whiskies available for tasting at the Whisk-e/Whisky Magazine Japan boot: the likes of Ardbeg 1994 from Duncan Taylor, Glenlivet 1972 from Cadenhead’s, 3 Teeling single casks, 2 new ‘School of Malt’ bottlings (Mortlach 1989 and Linkwood 1989, Fettercairn 1995 for Whisky Magazine…) the list just goes on and on. A few of these will come at an extra charge, but the organizers are keen to offer as much as possible included in the ticket price. The last couple of years, there’s been a trend at whisky festivals in Japan to charge for anything that’s even a teeny tiny bit special (i.e. anything other than entry-level whiskies). People were getting a bit tired of having to bring wads of cash just to try new whiskies. Whisky Live Tokyo 2015 should offer some welcome relief for the wallet in that sense, which is to be applauded! There are obviously limits to what can be offered for free sampling, but the organizers are trying hard to keep as much as possible within those limits.
Of all the booths, we predict the Whisky Magazine Japan booth will attract the most customers (giving Akuto-san, who usually attracts the biggest crowds, a little break maybe). Why is that? Well, if you ‘like’ the Whisky Magazine Japan FB page, you get access to some incredible Japanese whiskies… 1988 Yoichi and 2001 Miyagikyo single casks, 1998 Hakushu and Yamazaki single casks (courtesy of Whisky Shop W.), two 6yo grain whisky cask samples and a 15-18yo malt cask sample from Fuji Gotemba and a line-up of Chichibu prototype bottles. But hold on, it gets better. You don’t just get 1 dram from this line-up, you can try everything… as long as stocks last. So our advice would be: click ‘like’ right away and don’t wait too long to pay our friends at the Whisky Magazine Japan booth a visit… but leave some for us, pretty please!
Well, folks, that’s about it. There’s plenty more we could tell you, but we don’t want to spoil the fun of discovering all the surprises lying in wait for you at Whisky Live Tokyo 2015. Book your tickets here and we’ll see you there!