All in all, it was an exciting and great year for the Japanese whisky industry in 2012. Numerous goals and results were achieved by all the players; both large and small, and let’s not forget the array of new bottlings that were introduced last year that feed the addiction of Japanese whisky enthusiasts throughout the globe including the domestic front. The industry is doing all the right things and this is evident in the continuing and increased enthusiasm of the nation's distilled spirit. Exciting times can only continue to be had. Just as we have seen in the past, this New Year (2013) shows promise of a flourish of new expressions to hit the market and not only by the big guns of the game. We can expect to see the rising potential of both the White Oak Distillery - Eigashima and the Mars Distillery - Hombo Shuzo, plus some further creative and artisan single malt expressions with added age from the Chichibu Distillery - Venture Whisky (Akuto Ichiro). Expect this year to be full of surprises and exciting news that I look forward to, as much as possible, independently share.
Whiskies R Us, which was solely created at the beginning of 2011, has reached its third year on the blog scene. The blog, which is not sponsored in anyway will continue to supply readers with informal articles, reviews, personal experiences, and general enlightenment into the world of Japanese whisky.
Perhaps this is a good opportunity to thank all the readers of Whiskies R Us. The great encouragement I receive from you all is always appreciated, which I believe has allowed my personal writing ability to become that little bit more expressive than it once used to be when the blog first kicked-off. The large amount of page views the blog receives monthly is a good indication I'm doing something right...I hope, however, along with the new year I feel it’s time to equally add something new to Whiskies R Us. Last year saw the new addition of the creative logo (above), a vast improvement on the old one I must say, and the introduction of "Treasure Troves". This year, I plan to introduce a few more new themes of equal interest. I won't spill all the beans at once, but amongst a few things I'll be focusing on this year are more posts on whisky bars in Kansai that you won't find in any English written drinks (whisky) book, such as The Court, and if you ever do you can be sure to have seen it first at WRU. It's time to also head out and give Kyoto the recognition it deserves, there are some tremendous establishments that have been overlooked, and to be honest I need to venture to the city much more than I do.
Another new feature, which is possibly overdue, is the new "Seal of Approval". Some of you who regularly view WRU would have already noticed that on a few occasions whisky reviews (pictures), such as the Hakushu Heavily Peated 2012 and Chichibu Chibidaru Shinanoya Private Cask have been uploaded with the blogs logo. This is a very informal accreditation that simply demonstrates personal preferences and likings of whiskies I have "reviewed and playfully approved". If a review does not sport the logo it does not necessarily mean the whisky mentioned is of bad quality but one which quite simply didn't tickle my fancy enough in comparison. On the same token, and at the end of the day, just like with point scoring, this style of personal acceptance should not be used heartily when making your own choices and whisky purchases.