Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Japanese Whiskeys on the Rise

It was my first sip of Hibiki, the blended whiskey from the powerhouse distiller Suntory, that first opened my eyes to the possibilities of Japanese whiskey. That was back in 2010. I had tasted few whiskey blends that had as much flavor, depth and appeal. It remains my favorite of the Suntory products on the American market, but I've come to appreciate all four, as well as the two Nikka whiskeys that arrived late this year.

I realize that this half dozen is just the tip of the iceberg. While researching this article for the New York Times, I tasted samples of many more. (A favorite: Chita, Suntory's grain whiskey, which serves as the base of Hibiki. Unfortunately, it's not sold commercially.) I've rarely seen such consistency of quality in any liquor category the world over, not to mention elegance. Brandy Library's Flaven Desoblin was right on target when he said "Japanese whiskeys are very much the fine-wine-drinker’s take on whiskey."

Here's the article:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Fall in New York; There's Drinking to Do

The New York Times has done a fall restaurant preview for eons. This year, they decided the bar scene deserved its own article. It was my privilege and happiness to construct the inaugural specimen. Here it is: