Awards & Events

Big Sight Tokyo

One of Whisky Live's most impressive members of the family hit new heights this year and Rob Allanson was there to soak up the atmosphere.
By Rob Allanson
You get told that WL Tokyo is quite an event, possibly the largest whisky show held on the planet over one day, but nothing quite prepares you for the real thing.Regular readers of the magazine will know that Japanese whisky is starting to make real waves in the West,but this does not emulate the Japanese drinkers’ passion for Scotch and indeed all things whisky.More than 4000 people attended the event with many devotees eager to learn more from distillery managers and blenders.Their passions were also indulged in the masterclass sessions, which included presentations from Diageo, Suntory,Nikka, Inver House Distillers, Isle of Arran Distillers, Tomatin Distillery, Springbank and Longrow Distilleries, the Edrington Group, Benriach and independent bottler Duncan Taylor.The 8th Whisky Live Tokyo could not have passed without mention of the great dram hunter himself Michael Jackson.A huge collection of photographs from his life greeted show goers, a reminder that Michael was one of the great champions of the Japanese whisky industry and its people.A prize draw raffle was held to raise money for the Parkinson’s Association Charity.It is impressive how Live Tokyo has grown in just eight years, from a two hour seminar session with only five panellists, to the massive event drawing in thousands of whisky fans from across the world.One of the highlights of the show was a performance by ‘Kami Asobi’Noh troupe, a traditional Japanese theatre group.They performed a piece about whisky, specially written for the event.Taking care of entertainment on stage, compered by DJ Guy Perryman,Dave Broom held two high profile talk shows, and renowned singer Lenne Hardt and her jazz band thumped out some swinging beats to drink to.