Awards & Events

Roppongi Rocks

We report from the recent expanded Tokyo show
Call it our coming of age. This was the year Whisky Live became a three-day event, the year it moved to the luxurious Tokyo Midtown, and the year Whisky Week was launched. A record 7,100 people joined in the fun in Roppongi, and thousands more took part in events around Japan. Friday kicked off with a night VIP party featuring the cream of the whisky world from Scotland and Japan, fuelled by premium whiskies galore, and highballs from the ever-inventive Takayuki Suzuki of the Park Hotel.On stage, Miss Universe Japan 2010 Maiko Itai added some glamour, and Dave Broom took some away, as they revealed the results of the Japanese heat of the World Whisky Awards – a first glimpse of what, less than a month later, would be Japan’s historic trophy haul.The event proper opened Saturday morning, and this year’s crowd looked more diverse than ever, for which the phenomenal highball campaigns can take some credit for having brought whisky to a whole new audience.The spacious new home allowed room for the Craft Beer Society, as well as some gins and rums. On stage London-based electropop DJs Eli and Fur, live art from Scotland’s Jack McLean, and the silky tones of Guy Perryman as MC kept people entertained. But let’s be honest, it’s the whisky that everyone came for, and with two halls and 24 masterclasses, there was gallons of the stuff.The punk bagpiper squeezed out Auld Land Syne to wrap things up. It was the biggest and best Whisky Live yet, but it’ll be back next year and aiming higher.