Tokyobling's Blog

Suntory Whiskey – Hakushu

Posted in Shops, Stuff by tokyobling on August 12, 2012

Japanese make really good single malt whiskeys. There, I said it. One of my favorite whiskey makers in Japan is Suntory, and although I am not a big drinker (I hardly ever touch the stuff) it is really well crafted whiskey. In Tokyo’s Omotesando district the brewery is currently running a pop-up bar and eatery with whiskey drinks on tap! I don’t think I have ever seen single malt on tap before. There’s quite a few varieties of the whiskey brand they are promoting, Hakushu (白州) but I only sampled one. If you are in the area and looking for a different drinking experience, I recommend this bar, which is not so difficult to find if you get out of Omotesando Subway Station Exit A4, turn right and then right again, walk a little bit and you’ll find it at the end of an open air food court on your right hand side. There’s also a pretty nice campaign site that you might want to visit if for no other reason than to listen to the soothing BGM of a forest soundtrack and birds chirping in the forest. I visited the area where their distillery is last year but I think I have to make sure to make a proper visit to the factory this summer!

This place is part of food truck collection called 246COMMON, and you can see my post about it here.

Note: The 246COMMON is closed since April 30th, 2014.




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16 Responses

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  1. svensays said, on August 12, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I agree, Japanese whisky is good! I first tasted some in Kyoto, but it is sold in Sweden too.

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  2. Hangaku Gozen said, on August 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I love single-malt scotches, though they are horrendously expensive and all from Scotland. I’ll have to try the Suntory, if I can it find here in the US. Interestingly, I found a number of Japanese to be prejudiced against their own country’s whiskeys. They like going to the duty-free shop at the airports and stocking up on Johnny Walker and Seagrams (which is so-so IMO). My younger daughter also grumbled about having to buy American whiskey as o-miage for her supervisor back in Japan. She hates the stuff, lol, and thought they all tasted the same, whether it’s Suntory or Kentucky bourbon.

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    • tokyobling said, on August 13, 2012 at 4:57 am

      Scottish single malts are all about having a special taste or character, Japanese single malts are all about being easy to drink. Japanese people admire whiskey and they want to be part of the culture of whiskey drinking etc., but these scottish whiskeys are just too much for most Japanese, hence the Japanese companies have developed single malts that are actually easy to drink, and ones that you don’t mind serving on rocks or even as high balls, like the one I had. I don’t know enough about US single malts or scotches. Still, it’s good to see that Japan has managed to develop brands that work for them instead of just copying the US or Scots. Just wait until they take on vodka! The Swedes, Canadians, Poles and Russians will be livid! (^-^;)

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      • Sven said, on August 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm

        There is already something like Japanese vodka, the shochu I mean. I like it!

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        • tokyobling said, on August 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm

          You are right! I actually had it for the first time a month or so ago, not bad stuff!

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          • Sven said, on August 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm

            Nice! Will you write a post on shochu soon?

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          • tokyobling said, on August 19, 2012 at 5:45 am

            As soon as I have something photogenic to blog with! (^-^;) A factory visit is in order…

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  3. JUURI said, on August 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Wow, unusual sight indeed! But the marketing is superb… the green bottles, the lovely website (which kindly let me know to enjoy with my sound ON,) the posters… makes me feel so refreshed and nature-infused (which of course actually has nothing to do with whiskey!) ;)

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    • tokyobling said, on August 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      I usually turn my speakers down but for this one I had them turned up and everyone in the room was looking around with smiles on their faces at the sound of the birds…!

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  4. B-in-F said, on August 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Have you not had the opportunity to watch the movie “Lost in Translation” ? They talked about this alcohol in this incredible movie.

    http://youtu.be/FiQnH450hPM (aperçu du passage) ^^’

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    • tokyobling said, on August 14, 2012 at 2:55 am

      Hi! Actually I haven not seen that movie yet. Maybe I should? A lot of people recommend it to me. As for the Suntory, I read that it is a nod to the director’s father once appearing in a Suntory ad… (^-^;) Thanks for including the clip, that scene is very unrealistic though…!

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  5. Timi said, on August 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I’m not really one for alcohols, but these pictures make me want to taste that whiskey ^-^;

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    • tokyobling said, on August 19, 2012 at 5:44 am

      Me neither, I love to taste it, hate to drink it. Sipping, that is the verb for me! (^-^)

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  6. [...] place and found everything from takoyaki to rosemary infused Hakushu whisky highballs (more on that here), and after an iced original tea – heavy on the tapioca which, if you are in to that kind of [...]

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