Whisky Undead 2010

Ichiro's Malt at Whisky Live.

Ichiro’s Malt at Whisky Live.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow. I guess that’s really three days, but for me it’s a countdown. 

Tomorrow (Sunday February 21, 2010) is the date for the much anticipated Whisky Live 2010 event in Tokyo. Presented by Whisky Magazine, it is one of the (if not the) preeminent whisky trade show of the year. Here’s the blag from their blog:

Whisky Live is the whisky tasting and sampling event of the year, taking place from London to Tokyo, Paris to Glasgow, and in 2010 celebrates its 10th anniversary. Appealing to both the enthusiast and the novice alike, and with expert advice on hand and the opportunity to learn about the whisky basics, Whisky Live is intended to provide the ultimate whisky experience.

Not only that, but the Japan Whisky Live event that happened ten years ago was actually the first Whisky Live event (listen to this  Guy Perryman interview with Whisky Magazine’s Dave Broom that spawned all of the others that now take place in 16 countries.

Now, as a whisky enthusiast, this obviously appeals to me. And I’m lucky enough to get to cover it as a journalist. I’m there to taste some big single malts, both Scottish and Japanese, and some mighty fine blends – all of which, if I decide that I like them, are probably much cheaper to buy here in Japan than any where else. Even Scotland. For some reason, as expensive as Japan can be, liquor is as cheap as a glam rock hooker here.

Rest assured my tasting notes (and I will have to keep notes, or wake up not remembering where I was the night before) will come in handy as I scour my local bottle shops for a good dram afterward – at what I have now come learn are not just good, but great, prices.

I was back in Canada for the Christmas holidays where even cheap Canadian Club (CDN$26 plus) was more expensive than it is here (about ¥1,000 or $11.30). Go figure.

I will be speaking with David Croll, one of the founders of Japanese online whisky distributor Whisk-e dot com, as well as Dave Broom from Whisky Magazine and making the rounds with my friend Nicolas Coldicott.

With all the iPhones, Blackberries, 3G connectivity and (we can only assume) ubiquitous Japanese race queens it will be interesting to see the number of social media geeks out there drunk tweeting and Facebooking and Mixi-ing and Posterousing and Foursquaring and, in general, inebriatedly uploading content of a questionable sort (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just want to see if there will be others besides me).

Something that really strikes me about his year’s event is that: all of a sudden it’s cool to like whisky. For some reason, there seems to be a lot of people who turned their noses up at my drink of choice over the years who are ga-ga about hitting this year’s event. I guess that’s another go figure.

See you out there.


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