If you're looking to buy a unique whisky, consider heading into the Umeda Hanshin department store sooner rather than later. Until June 17, a massive selection of premium Scotch and Japanese whiskies are on offer, to not only purchase but to sample free of charge. Just as last year, a reasonably large space has been cleared to make way for the department store's annual Father's Day celebrations, and in case you're wondering, for reasons not known, Father's Day peculiarly falls on June 17, in this part of the world. Compared to last years line-up the selection of Japanese whiskies is not all that exciting in my opinion, unfortunately no malts from Ichiro's Card Series or any other expressions from Hanyu can be had. However, for those who have not yet had the opportunity to coat your mouth with Suntory's recently introduced no-age-statements than now is the time to do so courtesy of Hanshin. Besides the full line-up of standard bottlings (10,12,18-year-olds/Puncheon/Bourbon) of Yamazaki and Hakushu, the only other available Japanese malts include favourites such as the 10 and 12-year-old Yoichi, and a reasonable offering of Chichibu's The Floor Malted (at least 15 bottles), which I believe is the second batch. Perhaps the bottle of most interest, in terms of Japanese whisky, is Eigashima's
14-year-old (5-year-old also available). This bottling is retailing for 8,400 yen, unfortunately out of an array of expressions available for tasting this was one of few that was excluded for tasting. Akashi
Scotch enthusiasts have it made, certainly a very interesting range available with many gems on offer. Whether you’re looking for either Scotch or Japanese whisky, there is a relatively good smorgasbord of expressions to suit everyone's palate, whether it is for yourself, or in the case of this event, your father. These tasting sessions are very welcome, not only do you have an interesting selection to choose from; you get to try before you buy. I'm in favour of this, something that should be available more often as it helps with decision making. Enjoy.