Whisky History Osaka 2013 was held on October 6, unfortunately this year I'm sad to say I didn't attend - not because I didn't want to obviously but couldn't due to other work obligations. From feedback it seemed to be another great event with the familiar run of brands and retailers. Friends and readers of Whiskies R Us mentioned a few standouts on the day. The first being the Chichibu seminar hosted by none other than Akuto-san himself with partner in tow - Yumi-san. Guests at the seminar apparently indulged in a 4yo Chichibu matured primarily in a Mizunara cask that was kindly offered - how tasty does that sound, and perhaps a sign of things to come?
Another highlight was yet again from the boys at Shinanoya. Certainly not knew news as most of you already know by attending Whisky History, as well the fact Shinanoya posted about it on their Facebook page. Their release: the fifth installment to the famed "Game" series. Naturally an Ichiro's Malt Hanyu expression - only this one has been finished in Mizunara. Distilled in 2000 (a favourite Hanyu vintage of mine) and bottled this year (2013) - cask# 1302. Like past releases the fifth installment to the highly sought after bottlings has a relatively small outturn of 299 bottles and priced at 14,900 yen. It could be argued that prices are increasing on every release with some suggesting its a huge expense for a 13yo whisky, but if it is of the same quality (which I'm sure it is) cask choice as previous private releases then its worth every cent. The "Game 5" is bottled at 59.5%, and according to Shinanoya the "finish" took place over 2 years making it a reasonable finish at that compared to other products on the market. Word on the street is that there will shortly be a follow-up (the Game 6) that will reveal the complete picture behind the puzzle pieces. What a clever idea.