USA Whisky Tasting
Bailliage of Chicago
Chicago, December 5, 2016
Exploring the fascinating world of Japanese whisky

The Bailliage’s first Société Mondiale du Vin* event of the 2016-2017 season explored the fascinating world of Japanese whisky at The Annex at GreenRiver, the chic corner cocktail bar which is home to one of the city’s finest collections of this increasingly coveted spirit.

Commercial Japanese whisky production began in 1924 when Shinjiro Torii opened the country’s first distillery, Yamazaki, in a suburb of Kyoto known for its excellent water. Torii hired Masataka Taketsuru who had studied the art of distilling in Scotland, and he became a key to the success of the company that would eventually become Suntory. Taketsuru left in 1934 to establish his own distillery that would eventually become Nikka, Japan’s other major whisky maker.

Twenty-two members had exclusive use of The Annex for this informative and tasty evening. The event began with a convivial reception where guests enjoyed Old Fashioneds and a selection of artisan cheeses, charcuterie and breads in the stylish space.Next, Mike Karberg, a Key Account Manager for Beam Suntory (the world’s third largest premium spirits company) led members through a 30-minute tutorial and tasting of five Japanese whiskies produced by Suntory.

- Hibiki 12 Year Old, a blend of numerous single malts
- Yamazaki 12 Year Old, a single malt
- Hakushu 12 Year Old single malt
- Hibiki 17 Year Old (the favourite of many members)
- Yamazaki 18 Year Old single malt

Following the tasting, a family-style dinner was served. At the end of the evening hosts Todd Arkebauer and Elan Jacoby thanked the GreenRiver team and Manager Justin Gilmore for organizing the successful event. Everyone departed with enhanced enjoyment, knowledge and understanding of why Japanese whisky has become a superstar in the spirits world.

Todd Arkebauer
Vice-Chargé de Presse

Photos courtesy of Elan Jacoby and Todd Arkebauer

Ed. The Bailliage of USA equivalent of the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (OMGD) in the rest of the Chaîne world]