The pleasurable, engulfing smells of the retailer Pardon: mixed varieties of cardboard boxes, fresh wooden wine crates, sacks, barrels, rice, straw, raw materials, dried food produce and fruity white spirit. These are the welcoming smells one gets when entering the shop in Nishi-ku, Kobe. The description may not sound that appealing and maybe hard to imagine the mixture of these smells being pleasant, but in actual fact, well for me anyway, the natural aromas this shop puts out are enticing.
Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to be in the neighborhood again and dropped in. Since my last visit I learned that they have added a few more domestic whiskies to their lineup, while a lot of the bottlings they previously had have almost sold out. Seems like Pardon have thankfully caught onto the fact, through discussions, supportive readers, and dedicated drinkers that there’s a demand for domestic whisky. Although the additional whiskies are nothing spectacular in terms of quantity, it’s good to know that the store is making an effort to cater for its patrons needs.
The store seemed to have a bit of a theme going on over the weekend. Domestic Ji-whisky or artisan craft whisky appeared to be the flavour of the month according to staff recommendations. Two distillers, which are both associated with making Sake and Sochu but frolic in distilling whisky stood out. Unfortunately I have not tasted either of them: Sun Peace blended whisky from Miyazaki Honten in Mie prefecture and also a blend labeled Sunshine Extra Special from Wakatsuru Shuzou in Toyama. Both blends come in the familiar 1.8 litre bottles that are used for primarily bottling Sake, which may suggest these blends are most likely produced for Izakaya’s and their suitably priced drinks. However, Wakatsuru Shuzou produces a 20-year-old expression that appears to be single malt. A mouth-watering review of this by Nonjatta contributor Dramtastic can be seen here.