This year the organizers decided not to do payable Masterclasses in favor of included in the ticket price Mini Stages, of course with limited seating..
In the case of whisky, Mini Stages consisted of a presentation of whiksy expression specially prepared and bottled for the Tokyo Intenational Bar Show & Whisky Live Tokyo, talking about the history of the distillery and of course tasting. Demonstrations were run by representatives of producers with the participation of Dave Broom – editor of Whisky Magazine. Everything was smoothly translated from English to Japanese. It concerned interesing situations, as in Japanese there are many words, phrases and whole sentences that you have to use according to courtesy reasons. This resulted that the translated sentences were much longer than the English originals. Everyone was amused, especially when the presenters commented that they certainly did not say all of these sentences, as the translators indicated that they did not say anything more.
In addition to the typical guided tastings there were also very interesting presentations of combining whisky with food. It is worth mentioning Yamazaki and Chocolate and Hakushu and Chocolate – led by Sanae Hirata and Dave Broom.
Giuseppe Gallo Martini Brand Ambassador presented a few cocktails mixed with the typical company products such as Marini Rosso, Martini Asti.
GlenDronach Distillery presented single cask, natural colour, un-chillfiltered, 55,1% ABV, distilled in 2002, bottled in 2012 specially for Tokyo International Bar Show & Whisky Live Tokyo 2013. Whisky was matured in Sauterness Hogshead, cask no. 2534.
Springbank Distillery presented 17 years old whisky, cask strenght 55,7% ABV, obviously natural colour and un-chillfiltered.
Glenglassaugh presented 37 years old whisky, 56% ABV, natural colour, un-chillfiltered. Whisky was distilled before closing the distillery for a longer time in 80/90. New expression also was shown, distilled after re-opening – Glenglassaugh Revival, matured in varied casks, but last 6 months in oloroso sherry butt.
Isle of Arran Distillery launched 7 years old peated whisky, 57,5% ABV, single cask no. 05/128, natural colour, un-chillfiltered.
Duncan Taylor is an independent bottler, while Tokyo International Bar Show they showed many whisky series.
BenRiach Distillery showed whisky distilled in 1985, bottled in 2012, natural colour, un-chillfiltered, single cask no. 3091 – hogshead, cask strenght – 42,2% ABV.
During the Tokyo International Bar Show I had the opportunity to talk with Douglas Cook, representing Benriach Distillery, Glendronach Distillery and Glenglassough Distillery and Ranald Watson from Springbank Distillery, which I greet with affection.