On June 18th, during the height of summer, on Japan’s most southerly island, Kyushu, the annual Fukuoka Whisky Talk festival was held.
The city of Fukuoka is known for many things: The infamous Hakata ramen; its exciting nightlife; and many wonderful luxurious, underground bars. While the largest concentration of whisky events throughout the year are held in the more metropolitan Tokyo, and Osaka, Fukuoka is charming in a very different way.
As is the Fukuoka Whisky Talk event. As the largest whisky event in Kyushu, Fukuoka Whisky Talk is truly for those fanatic about Japanese whisky and whisky in general. The beauty of the event is that, despite being held in a huge and very busy room, it still gives a vibe of intimacy.
Like most whisky events, guests are invited to move around the event hall, sampling whiskies at the many booths of different distilleries and distributors. Chichibu, Mars, Sasanokawa (Yamazakura), were there to support the little guys, while Suntory and Nikka were the heavyweights attending the event. Some rare bottlings by the likes of Hanyu distillery were also available at the event.
This year’s Chichibu single cask releases were especially exciting, while the Mars and Tsunuki distilleries presented some very affordable and tasty blended expressions. The Mars Three & Seven was a real hit at the event.
Apart from domestic products, the event also featured many foreign booths, by Scotch and bourbon selling distributors, where one could sample the newest releases entering Japan.
This year, guests also had the chance to attend some seminars held by prominent figures in the whisky industry. Yumi Yoshikawa, the brand ambassador of Chichibu, gave a great talk on the distillery’s team and production methods. Though it’s worth noting that the seminars are all in Japanese, so you need to get practicing if you want to attend any at next year’s event!
The event finished off with some entertainment provided by several classical musicians and an awesome Japanese bagpiper.
Make sure to keep an eye on the Fukuoka Whisky Talk website, and don’t miss next year’s exciting event! Experience Fukuoka and one of the best whisky talk events in Japan.