Whisky 2017 – 197-203 – The Society Bar, Tokyo

Great set of whiskies to finish my trip in Japan and hit 200. The staff at The Society Bar took good care of us. The Linkwood SMWS definitely one of the best this year.

198 – SMWS 3.268 (Bowmore) Lady beachcomber’s dram 1995 20 years
Yeasty, bread, sea salt, caramels, juicy stone fruit, sponge cake, liquorice, strawberry and apricot jam, cherries. Green leaves, chocolate, chilli, old lace, lavender, cakes, sea water, rocks in a fire, chocolate mousse, dashi.

199 – SMWS 96.9 (Glendronach) Icy – Chill 2007, 8 Years
Cream, peanut butter caramels, roses, peanut brittle, with water candied apples, grilled pineapples. Yoghurt, almonds, green vines, with water loads of cakey notes, vanilla, hints of rubber, clove and leather.

200 – SMWS 39.102 (Linkwood) Rum-soaked black cherries 23 years *
Crushed ants, woody, maraschino cherries. Such a gentle dram, buttery, cake, sweet fruit like glacé apricots, pencil shavings, honey, salt, butter, old butter and sherry. The finish is forever – apples, cloves, melted butter and crisps.

201 – Ichiro’s Malt Single Cask 706 2010, 4 Years – bottled for Modern Malt Whisky Market in Osaka
Weet-box with milk and honey, medicinal, caramel, lemon butter, pound cake, glacé orange peel. Grains, multigrain bread, salted butter, wicker chairs, burnt butter with walnuts.

202 – Blackadder Ichiro’s Malt Cask 2630 PX Cask June 2010 6 Years
Apples, chocolate cake, sarsaparilla, cloves, old butter, crushed ants, dried apricots. Cloves, cake mix, passionfruit vines, chocolate and herbs.

203 – Ichiro’s Malt The Peated 2015, Distilled 2011
Medicinal, malt, chocolate, caramel, cheesecake, metallic, stewed apricots. Charcoal, heather, leather, soot, fruit dipped in caramel, lantana, candles blown out on a birthday cake.

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Whisky 2017 – 193-197 – The Mash Tun, Tokyo

It is always a pleasure to visit The Mash Tun in Tokyo, owner Toru Suzuki is a true gentleman and wonderful ambassador for whisky. On this trip I arrived as they finished a Cadenhead tasting with General Manager, Mark Watt. Truly a special occasion to walk through the door on. I also met representatives from Shinanoya and Whisk-e. I was hanging out with the big dogs, accidentally.

193 – Benrinnes Bourbon Cask for the Mash Tun 13th Anniversary 17 Years “How can I live at the top of the mountain
Pancakes, vanilla, salted butter, sweet biscuits, cakes, stone fruit, galvanized fence. Apricots, vanilla, rubber, sulphur, salt, red apples, sponge cake, chestnuts.

194 – Cadenhead’s 175th Anniversary Caperdonich 39 Years
Rubber, shoe polish, chocolate, grilled nectarines. Toffee, raisins, butter, brown sugar, ice coffee, plum chutney, green figs, old butter. This thing is huge.

195 – Glenfarclas 32 Years Salon de Shimaji PenXShinanoya Cask 136 1981 bottled 2013
Buttered toast, chestnut purée, raisin, cloves, pickled onions (in a good way), coffee. Honey, butter, pain à raisin, salt, apricots.

196 – Ichiro’s malt “The Game” Madeira Hogshead Cask 1370, 10 Year Anniversary of Shinanoya *
Maple syrup, pancakes, loads of stone fruit, toasty, caramel, toffees, toffee apple, pineapple upside down cake. Rubber, raisins, sulphur, apricots, old butter, musk sticks, butter and maple syrup on crumpets.

197 – Benriach 1976 Sherry Cask/Bourbon Finish Cask 529, 37 years
Plastic, caramel, rose hips, green grass, columbines, salt, passion fruit vine. Butter herbs, butter, caramel, apricot jam, chocolate, stout, kiwi fruits, chocolate, LPG, beef fat, vanilla icecream, pineapple.

Whisky 2017 – 189-192 – Bar C Shell, Tokyo

I am lucky enough to be back in Tokyo. Tried out Bar C Shell in Shinjuku, near Yotsuya-Sanchome station. The owner Yu is very knowledgeable, super friendly and speaks excellent English (having lived in NYC). The bar is quite different to most Japanese whisky bars and much more casual. Yu has created a unique space for whisky drinkers in Tokyo. Drank some unique old bottlings but I had to throw in a Ben Nevis, because, well, it’s Ben Nevis. 

189 – The Milroy Sprinbank 30 50% 2002 Bottling
Rubber, caramel, peaches, dusty, hazelnuts, pumice stone. Spritz, lemon, hand cream, dried apricots, wonderful mouth feel, preserved lemons, Lavender, chocolate and soap.

190 – Friends of Oak Ben Nevis 1998, 15 Years
Honey, aspirin, hay, marzipan, sponge cake, toasted almonds. Roses, caramel, vanilla cake, strawberry jam, peaches, brown butter, honey, green grass.

191 – Cadenhead’s Glenturret Distilled 1965 bottled 1990
Bee wax, sarsaparilla, dried peaches, chicos, pencil shavings. Cream, pencil shavings, salt, rose petals, soap, wax.

192 – Glen Fraser 1956 for Strathnairn Whisky Ltd
Slight maple syrup, wax, bonox, wood glue, menthol. Pencils shavings, soap, pepper, clove, lemon zest, old raisins, wax, rubber, leather, old tobacco, peaches, shaving cream, dusty, perfume.

Whisky 2016 – 102-105 Campbelltoun Loch, Tokyo

The Campbelltoun Loch is small, cramped, run down (don’t expect suit jackets) and full of whisky gems. It’s serious whisky drinking business.102 – Ben Nevis The Whisky Agency 2013 1995 18 Years
Old leather, cake mix, almonds, green herbs, hazelnuts, as it opens up more and more cake mix – it is stunning. Slow to start but this amazingly long cake mix thing which lasts and lasts, apricot jam in a cake.

103 – The Prestonfield 1975 Ben Nevis Cask 7440 La Maison du Whisky 34 Years
Cake mix, crushed ants, hazelnuts, apricots and orange juice. Chocolate, tobacco and cigars, apricot jam on buttered toast, hazelnuts, chocolate. Smells like it is going to come alive in the glass?!?

104 – The Old Malt Cask Ben Nevis 19 Years 2013 Ref: HL12148
Pancakes, honey, oranges, stewed apricots, dark toffee and brown sugar. Apricots, green herbs, slightly bitter, crepes, vanilla, Fanta, malty.

105 – Kingsbury Glenrothes 2004 11 years
Rubber, sarsaparilla, smoked paprika, chicos, sulphur. Chocolate and vanilla, Xmas spices, ginger biscuits, cocoa powder on vanilla ice cream, roast chicken.

Whisky 2015 – 117-122 (The Mash Tun, Meguro, Tokyo)

I had two great nights at The Mash Tun in Meguro, Tokyo. It’s a short walk from Meguro station and by Tokyo standards easy to find.

The Mash Tun has the largest collection of Cadenhead bottlings I’ve seen, maybe close to 40. While many of the locals (in fact now that I think about it all of them) were tucking into Cadenhead, I was there for the Japanese stuff you just can not get in Australia.

  
117 – Ichiro’s Malt – Whisky Talk 2015
Typical Japanese creaminess, cocoa, autumn leaves, salt, slight gassy note, angry dust. Tastes like it smells. Which is unusual. The peat is really subtle. I can taste this in my throat.

118 – Blackadder and Ichiro’s malt 5 year
Chestnut honey, flour, floral, ginger, egg white, clove and cola. Honey and cola. Really delicious. The sweetness is complex like brown/black sugar.

119 – Karuizawa TIBS 2012
Rubber, apricots, chocolate, maple syrup. Rubber, vanilla, pepper, sulfur, clove, salt, maple syrup.

  
120 – Fuji Gotemba Single Grain Blender’s Choice 2014 029/500
Bananas, coconut, formic acid, some acetone, apricots with ice cream. Butter, crushed ants, vanilla, tropical fruits, toasted hazelnuts.

121 – Ichiro’s malt 2015 Tokyo International Bar Show Cask 2360
Wow just wow – favourite for the year!! Banana, ice cream, malty bread with butter, tomato paste, fruit tingles, slight vino cotto, CHICOS. Yeast, brown bread, vanilla, banana bread, prunes, plums, grapes.

  
122 – Hanyu King and 6 of Spades Cask 123 (Grappa Cask)
Slight woody pine notes, vanilla, roses, dried strawberries, chocolate and a bit medicinal. Peppery and spicy, instant coffee, a touch of vanilla, strawberries in a day old chocolate cake, length that lasts forever.

  

Cocktails at Bar Gen Yamamoto, Tokyo

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.

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