I believe Tokyo have had them for quite a while, they began sprouting up vigorously in various places throughout Osaka, and now they have made an appearance amongst small Izakaya’s in every part of Sannomiya. The commodity of highballs on tap can either be frowned upon or rejoiced upon. There are certainly mixed reactions amongst serious whisky drinkers and those who embraced the highball boom. Big brass taps that perfectly pour the recommended proportion of soda and blended whisky is quite an interesting novelty regardless of your drinking preference. Nothing overly innovative though as highballs had been streamed from what resembled servers throughout Japan in the 1950’s.
Servers are dominantly Suntory and consist of three taps that give you a choice of Suntory’s reigning beer The Premium Malts to the heavily marketed Kakubin and Torys highballs. Certain establishments in Tokyo have gone that extra step further and included both the Yamazaki and Hakushu 10-year premixed highballs to their servers, which are proving lucrative and continuing to assist in the flourish. The hot and humid weather throughout Japan in summer could possibly justify these apparatuses, but there is something a little disturbing when you hear a big burly fellow saying “ a pint of torys please”. At this stage there is no evidence to suggest Nikka has or will bring out highball taps, well in the Kansai area anyway, perhaps there are some lurking around Kanto but I haven’t heard of any yet.