Whisky Magazine Issue 56
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Amazingly, Japan's Whisky Live event is now in its sixth year
The sixth Whisky Live! in Tokyo earlier this year saw record numbers of exhibitors and participants, with close to 3,000 people attending on the day.
Signs that the recent boom in Japan's domestic ‘shochu' spirit are coming to an end, and a definite pick-up in the economy, have resulted in renewed interest in the whisky market, in particular single malts, which are currently being heavily promoted by domestic producers and importers alike.
The stage was set for Live! with a week of radio broadcasts beforehand, culminating in an on-air tasting for DJ Guy Perryman, conducted by Dave Broom.
Guy and his charming assistant Keiko then MC'd the main Live! event, which was again held at Tokyo Big Sight, a purpose-built event and conference centre.
The British Ambassador, Sir Graham Fry, also very kindly hosted a Whisky Reception at his residence prior to Live!, attended by press and customers, as well as visiting overseas panellers and representatives of the local whisky industry.
The day itself followed the same format as last year, with a total of 24 masterclasses, many of them sold out, running concurrently with the main tasting room, where cigars, chocolates and Scottish food were available as well as several hundred varieties of whisky.
Domestic whiskies were, as always, well represented, and we also saw some interesting new bourbons for the first time.
The thirst for knowledge amongst the Japanese consumers is intense and expectations for the masterclasses were very hi...