Almost done in Japan. I need to leave Kobe by 3 in the evening in order to get to Narita in time. On our last evening we spent some time in a bar after dinner. A fact which I (shockingly) did not know before my friend the Strong-and-Vigorous told me a couple of months ago is that Japanese whiskys are excellent. It turns out to be a reasonably well-known fact. I was told this by several people over dinner. One of them even mentioned that Jim Murray considers some Japanese Whiskys among the world’s best. Fortunately I retained a little credibility by remembering that Sean Connery had appeared in an ad for Japanese whisky.
So we came to a bar which a friend knew and settled in for an evening. Four of us sampled the whole menu between us. From what I tasted and smelt, I can definitely advise you to go out and try Japanese whisky, at least the ones in the menu which I reproduce above. I was thinking of taking a bottle of Sake back to India with me. Now I’m seriously thinking of taking a Japanese whisky back.
If I have to spend my weight allocation on a bottle of Japanese whisky, then there are only two which I would consider. One was our evening’s starter: the Suntory Hibiki 17 year old. The first taste was smoky, and it ended sweet, but it had a sustained rich and full taste. The other is the Nikka Taketsuru 17 year old. It made less of an impression among the variety we had, except that I caught a good peaty taste. The following night, at a different bar, I had just one whisky, and that was this. Taken by itself it stood out.