February 25, 2015

Anatomy of an Epic Win

Allen @ 1:46 pm   |  Comments Off on Anatomy of an Epic Win
Filed under: Japan,Travel,Whiskey

From: Mike
Date: February 20, 2015
Subject: Yabufutokoro-o Sake Godzilla

Dear Sir,
My friend and I are in Osaka and are looking for a Godzilla bottle of your fine Yabufutokoro-o Sake. Could you please tell us where we might buy some, and if it is available at the distillery in Osaka? Many thanks for your help!



February 21, 2015:



From: “”
Date: February 23, 2015
To: Mike
Subject: Re: Yabufutokoro-o Sake Godzilla
Dear Mr.Michael Hadgson

Thank you for your inquiry.

Unfortunately,the Godzill that you tried to order is sold out.

Yours faithfully,

February 24, 2015

Whisky in the Bag-O

Allen @ 2:54 pm   |  Comments Off on Whisky in the Bag-O
Filed under: Japan,Whiskey

Mush a ring dumma doo dumma dye…

February 18, 2015

Traveling at the speed of highball

Allen @ 12:36 am   |  Comments Off on Traveling at the speed of highball
Filed under: Japan,Travel,Whiskey

Through our diligent efforts, we have discovered that the Shinkansen ride from Kyoto to Osaka lasts exactly long enough to open, drink, and finish a single can on Suntory Kaku Highball (7% alcohol by volume).

February 14, 2015

The Helmsdale

Allen @ 3:31 pm   |  Comments Off on The Helmsdale
Filed under: Japan,Whiskey

A decent little whiskey bar in Aoyama. Tasty Nikka 10 year finished in sherry casks. Mike had a 15 year Dalwhinnie.

February 12, 2015

Nikka tasting room, or why we can’t have nice things

Allen @ 2:02 am   |  Comments Off on Nikka tasting room, or why we can’t have nice things
Filed under: Japan,Travel,Whiskey


The Nikka distillery at Yoichi, Hokkaido, has a cavernous space dedicated to serving visitors tasting portions of several of their products, including apple brandy, apple juice (which was quite good, actually), 10 year whisky, and the 17 year “Tsuru” whisky.

What struck me almost immediately was that there was no system in place to discourage you from grabbing as many whiskies as you wanted. There wasn’t even anyone there checking IDs, and kids ran around practically unsupervised. There was no cover charge, no ticket system, no employee hovering over the samples, staring at you disapprovingly. In fact, the employees that manned the samples table had the attitude that they were there to make the experience as pleasant as possible, and were more than happy to serve you.

If this were in the US, this set up would probably result in utter chaos as people would grab armfuls of whiskey, get drunk, drink underage, basically treat it like a house party thrown by your worst enemy.

I don’t know what it is that stops degenerate behavior from happening here in Yoichi (a cultural emphasis on shame, moderation, appropriate behavior?), but whatever it is, our lack of it in the US pretty much means we can’t ever have nice things like this.

Oh and the Tsuru 17 year was good and had a very bourbony character, but it was not spectacularly awesome.

Visit to the Nikka Distillery, Yoichi, Hokkaido

Allen @ 2:01 am   |  Comments Off on Visit to the Nikka Distillery, Yoichi, Hokkaido
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The grounds of the Nikka Yoichi distillery were smaller than I was expecting… But then again, I didn’t really know how big distilleries should be.

The place is idyllic and the museum was a high point (with lots of history about Taketsuru and his wife Rita — they are popular now because of a TV series called “Massan & Ellie”, a story based largely on their true life story), but you probably don’t need to spend more than 90 minutes there in total.

We didn’t get a chance to look at the shop because we had to run for the train back to Sapporo (or be stranded for two hours), but we did get free samples of 17 year Tsuru, and the Nikka 10. More about the sampling later…

Welcome to Yoichi

Allen @ 2:00 am   |  Comments Off on Welcome to Yoichi
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The town that whisky built. This display right on the train station platform makes it abundantly clear what butters their bread here.

On the way to Nikka Distillery

Mike @ 1:49 am   |  Comments Off on On the way to Nikka Distillery
Filed under: Japan,Travel,Uncategorized,Whiskey

February 11, 2015

In Sapporo, whiskey finds you

Allen @ 2:24 pm   |  Comments Off on In Sapporo, whiskey finds you
Filed under: Japan,Travel,Whiskey

Ardbeg Arigh Nam Beist 1990 (glass ¥1,500)

Port Ellen 25 year 1979 (glass ¥3,200)

Bar Proof

Allen @ 2:21 pm   |  Comments Off on Bar Proof
Filed under: Japan,Travel,Whiskey

It’s nice having a fully stocked whiskey bar all to ourselves on a quiet Wednesday night.

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A group effort by Allen, Ben and Mike