I’m not a big fruit cocktail kinda guy but all the rave reviews I’ve read about Bar Gen Yamamoto, I had to give it a whirl. And what an amazing cocktail bar it is. More like a sushi bar than a cocktail bar, with a large wooden counter and 8 seats.
Gen-san is a lovely host and his drinks are superb. He happened to have a Sullivan’s Cove American Oak and a get this, Ichiro’s Malt Monochrome Joker! These are used for cocktails mind you. Unfortunately neither were in my cocktails for the evening, however he produced an amazing Yamazaki 12 and Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) drink pictured below.
A truly unique and beautiful cocktail bar.
1 – Springbank 10
What a great drop. I think in last year’s whisky newness I missed out on a few “classics”. Herbaceous and sweet vanilla nose some glue, smoke and straw. White sugar palate, some gentle peat, marshmallow, fruit and saltiness.
I made it to 150 whiskies for the year tonight. That was easy. Maybe I should shoot for 200 in 2015.
So more fun was had at Bar Cordon Noir, Kyoto this evening.
148 – Laphroaig Triple Wood
Boiled sweets, ice cream and seaweed and wood smoke. Citrus and powdered ginger, medicinal, peaty.
149 – Fuji Gotemba Blender’s Choice Bottle 261/500
Amazing fruit and vanilla: strawberries, raspberries and apricot. Fantastic. Coats and cushions the palate, hazelnuts and fruit cup, some banana and black pepper – reminds me of my mums stewed apricots and yoghurt.
150 – Kirin 1981 The Main Malt of Evermore 2003 (022863)
Toasted hazelnuts in brown butter, maple syrup, glue, dusty and egg white. Pink musk sticks, thyme, salt, butter.
I know. How is it possible that I haven’t had the Glenmorangie 18 yet? I’ve just skipped over it. Had a lovely meal at MOTOi in Kyoto. While no photograph of the whisky, enjoy the picture of the chocolate Paris Breast I ate with it.
147 – Glenmorangie 18
Pancakes with buttered walnuts and cola on the nose. Woody, nutmeg and cardamom, creamy and formic acid.
Ok so I’m in Kyoto. If you’re into your whisky you must head to Bar Cordon Noir. Approximately 600(!) different whiskies.
So my drinking this evening:
142 – Nikka Taketsuru Sherry Wood Finish
Honey, toffee and an easy nose. Vanilla and some cola to finish. Not much too it to be honest.
143 – Ichiro’s Malt 20 Years Old Bourbon Cask
Leather, wood, brown sugar/fake maple syrup, toasted bread crumbs, Terry’s choc Orange. The palate is syrupy and gentle, deep coffee, it really keeps going … Loads of crushed ants.
144 – Yamazaki 2000 Millennium
Slight yeasty banana bread, salty and eventually a strong nose of fresh rye bread and butter. Apricots, vanilla, creamed honey, pepper and salt.
145 – Yamazaki Limited Edition 2014
Banoffee pie, meringue and cola. Vanilla, crushed ants, salty, milk chocolate, rose water. I like this.
146 – Ledaig 18
Peanut brittle, salty almonds, bickfords lime cordial and seaweed. Peat, boiled sweets, white bread toast with melty butter.
141 – Nikka Yoichi 500ml
It’s Christmas Day in Tokyo. I arrived into some public transport disasters, however, I finally made it to Meguro. Walked into a bottle shop and found 4 litre bottles of Suntory White but I decided to pick up a more reasonably sized 500ml bottle of Nikka Yoichi, something I haven’t seen before.
It’s light and creamy with a few coffee notes. For ¥1800 it’s a bargain for Australians. The type of whisky where you don’t need to think to much or you’ve had too much too eat. In fact it would go really well with Christmas pud.
First up a big thanks to the staff at Whisky & Alement throughout the year and especially tonight. I set Luke, James and Brendan each challenge after a strange day. The first was a whisky for the end of an era, next was a whisky for starting new and finally a whisky to head home to. Great choices guys.
I’m not sure if it was my mood but the first two whiskies had strong memory links for me – being on the beach in winter as a kid and my mums cake mixture.
138 (end of an era) – Ardbeg Supernova
Sickly sweet (in a good way), rubber, cola lollies, green peaty seaweed monster… Pepper, salt, a winter rainy/windy day at the beach, bitter chocolate, apricots and rubber.
139 (start of something new) – Tormore 16
Proving bread, my mums butter cake batter, maple syrup. Melons, rubber, apricot bar.
140 (heading home) – Gordon & MacPhail Alba Whisky
Vanilla and tropical fruits. Orange cake with chocolate sauce.