Sweden goes Japanese

Sweden goes Japanese

News | 16 Jan 2009 | Issue 77 | By Rob Allanson

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In an odd way, Sweden is one of the leading whisky countries in the world. Not because of Mackmyra or the other handful of Swedish distilleries, but on account of interest. Nowhere else is the interest in whisky so widely spread. Nowhere else do people know, or think they know, so much about whisky. When Ichiro Akuto recently visited Sweden to lead a tasting in the small town of Växjö, about 200 people joined the flight.Sweden is a country of whisky clubs.There are approximatly more than one thousand clubs all around the country, from the frozen enthusiasts far up in the north to Malmö in the south. One of the most active clubs is Växjö Malt Whisky Society.They arrange tastings at least once a month, and the 200 members are truly devoted whiskybuffs, or nerds, as they call themselves.Ichiro Akuto guided the audience through the tasting and talked about the history of his distilleries as well as the art of making Hanyu and Chichibu. The dramming part was led by Marcin Miller from Number One Drinks Co. The tasting session started with Chichibu Newborn, a quite extraordinary dram, so rich and so soft at so low an age.One has to ask, what will the future bring?Next in line were the last bottles in Europe of the Minzunara Wood, a vatting from all Japanese distilleries. Finally, the cards where dealt: Five of Hearts, Eight of Spades, and the face cards Jack of Diamonds and Queen of Clubs.
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