Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Update January 2015: Most of if not all the whiskies pictured are no longer available at Pardon except Mars Amber and the Akashi blend, and in 2015 it is fair to say on a personal level this retail chain is now beatable in terms of selection and size. Still well worth a visit however.

Quite simply, up until now, nothing has come as close to Pardon in terms of size and selection, especially the selection of domestic whiskies. I’m even inclined to say that the Scotch range is possibly unbeatable. This may change one day, but until I come across something equally if not better, this massive but independent liquor retailer goes down as the best retailer of the year in west Japan. Now that may appear to be putting my neck on the line, but this can be backed up with not only their imaginative selection of whisky, but their impressive and biggest selection to date of independent sochu, sake, Japanese micro beer, and international wines in both stores. Besides the array of every imaginable alcoholic beverage under one roof, Pardon also cleverly stocks an impressive range of nibbles and gourmet snacks to accompany and cater for any drink. I could continue to write about Pardon, such as the pleasant smells one is engulfed in on entering the store, or the array of colourful sake barrels, and whisky props, but I will leave that for another time, as this place will be an ongoing entry, and possibly reviewed in detail in a future Kansai whisky directory that I have in plan.

Nishi Kobe Shop
16-2-2 chome,
Nishi-ku, Kobe
Tel: 078-978-5788

Nishiwaki Shop (Head office)
588-1 Shimotoda,
Nishiwaki, Hyogo prefecture
Tel: 0795-23-8010


  1. Nice Clint.
    I notice they stock the Mars Moltage Pure Malt 8YO. Don't worry about the age it's one of my top 5 Japanese daily drinkers.
    Highly recommended.

  2. Thanks Brian. They stocked quite a few gems. I have been visiting the Nishi Kobe for 9 years now, although I have not visited their Nishiwaki store. Will be doing that soon though.

  3. Dear Clint, I am currently on a two-week holiday in Kobe and checked out the Nishi Kobe shop today. Their selection of Japanese whiskies was not as impressive as I had hoped but they do stock a few gems as you correctly said. Today I bought a 15 yo Karuizawa original distillery bottling. Thank you for introducing this place!

  4. Hi Pierre, nice to hear from you. On a two-week holiday from where? In my opinion the store is impressive, in the sense that it is the only store I have seen so far that stock Karuizawa and Mars expressions. A lot of stores in Kobe tend to stock a lot of Suntory and Nikka and not the aforementioned, so for me, having these expressions available made this store impressive to date. They be be readily available in other parts of Japan but fairly scarce to come across in Kobe. Glad you got a good bottling, I have not tried the 15 yo Karuizawa expression myself yet.

  5. Hi Clint, I am Swiss and living in Switzerland. Too bad that I will have to fly back tomorrow Sunday. I would have loved to spend more time whisky shopping. I was a bit intrigued about the 15 yo Karuizawa, though, as it seemed rather cheap at JPY 5,250. Would you know more about this bottling? Pardon was the only store where I came across a Karuizawa.