Japan, enlightening and enthusiastic!
I have just come back from a tour of Japan focusing on Bowmore and Auchentoshan and what a tour it was! It was great to spend time in a country where Whisky is loved….adored in fact.
The trip included visits to 3 cities in 3 days, starting off in Tokyo then on to Osaka, then Fukuoka finishing back in Tokyo. It was a different kind of educational trip and this time very much on trade focused.
In each city I did a seminar on our products, 8 whiskies in 1 ½ hours including our core range. Each seminar was to bartenders, a profession taken extremely seriously in Japan as it should be. These are the key people that can influence more so than in other countries so important to speak to this audience more here than maybe anywhere else in the World. The first seminar was in Tokyo to a mere 250, the second in Osaka to 160 and finally Fukuoka to around 100. Our whiskies were hugely well received of course with many comments on the diversity of tastes between each whisky.
The seminar in Tokyo
We have our legions of fans in Japan, no more so than Mr Toshiaki Fujita, proprietor of The Harbour Inn………..yes that is correct in Osaka. He was overjoyed to hear that the other Harbour Inn is now owned by Bowmore. A huge fan of Bowmore as you can see, it was a pleasure to spend some time in his company.
The other Harbour Inn
As you maybe aware, the "hi ball" serve is very popular in Japan and for me the 12yo Bowmore makes a superb hi ball because of its lighter bourbon influenced flavours and it seems many of the professional agreed on our tour around the finest bars in each city.
On our travel in Fukuoka, I met Mr Hideo Yamaoka, one of the top journalists in Japan. He had been to Bowmore in November to renew his wedding vows and was heading back to Scotland the very next day. It was insisted we enjoyed a Gold Bowmore together with his friend.......And why not......Slàinte Mhath!
The week finished off with a session to the press where we focused on the core range and also launched Devil’s Cask into the market. 600 bottles will not last long in fact as I write, it is probably all gone!
It was a great trip on all fronts. Fantastic to see the Japanese whisky culture and their passion for all thing whisky including Bowmore (and Auchentoshan)! Cannot wait to go back!