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  1. Duty free is pretty crap at the airport itself. However, The Whisky Exchange's HQ is at Park Royal, which is not that far from Heathrow. If your friend takes the piccadilly line from Heathrow to Acton Town and changes trains to the northern branch of the piccadilly it should take less than an hour each way. The warehouse is a good 15 min walk from the station though.
  2. Point taken, it is overstating things a bit. It's not better than evens, but it's around one in three, which, in the opinion of nearly a thousand brands, is definitely worth a $400 punt.
  3. Could you explain what you mean by this? Are you saying that it's just too easy to get a gold medal in the SF Spirits Competition? Yes NO No idea It's probably not a great idea to charge them because: a) You might feel beholden to them, even subconsciously b) You might end up trying to keep everyone happy to protect your revenue stream c) You will be accused of trying to keep everyone happy to protect your revenue stream John Hansell discussed this a couple of years ago on his blog, so if things have radically changed since please forgive me, I take it all back. Here's a quote from t
  4. Broadly agree with Chris. It's very difficult to find true impartiality - as an occasional reviewer and writer of tasting notes for a major spirits retailer I am well aware of the need to balance my responsibilities to my employer without compromising my personal integrity. I would never give a positive review of something I didn't like, but fortunately there are enough great drinks out there that I don't need to. I have more unsolicited samples than I could write up even if I didn't have a wide range of other responsibilities in my job, so I prefer to focus on the positive. In broader te
  5. You're a lucky man - in Tokyo AND discovering the delights of Japanese whisky!! Japan is the second biggest producer of single malt whisky in the world - and nearly all of it is excellent. Yoichi is superb - a single cask 20yo from a few years ago won Best Whisky in the World at the World Whiskies Awards and casued a sensation. Other Nikka whiskies to try include the From the Barreel 50cl - a splendid cask strength variant. Nikka's rivals Suntory own Yamazaki. The 12yo, as you've said, is very good - but if you can stretch to the extra cash the 18yo is really exceptional - rich, deeply sher
  6. Don't forget LAB in Soho, still a great night out. A bit off the beaten track, Public House in Islington is owned and run by Simon Sheena who used to run the afore-mentioned Loungelover in its heyday. He still makes fantastic drinks. The Hide bar and Roast (both near London Bridge station) are also great bars with very talented and imaginative staff. Have fun!
  7. Real (ie illegally-distilled) Irish poteen is similar to the old 'shine in that it's illegal and made from whatever they get their hands on. The legal poteen that you can buy from specialist retailers and off-licenses in the UK is similar to the other products mentioned in that it is unaged spirit. However, I believe most poteen is made from potatoes, sugarbeet or grain, the first two of which which would make it dissimilar to the unaged grain moonshine or malt spirit mentioned above. Even with the poteen made from grain, the strength that it is distilled to would suggest it more as a hig
  8. I forgot to add to my earlier post that I've heard a rumour that Buffalo Trace might be looking at doing a 'white dog' style product in the fairly near future as well.
  9. There seem to be quite a few of these unaged spirits coming to market now, although some similar products have existed for some time. The website I work for has sold US unaged corn whiskey Georgia Moon (guaranteed less than thirty days old) for several years. It comes in a jamjar and we sell a reasonable amount of it to bars for its novelty value. Some use it as a cocktail ingredient. In the last year or two we have seen a steady trickle of unaged or very young Scotch malt spirit (which can't be called whisky as it isn't aged three years). These products are usually from new or under-new-ow
  10. Hi, I'm Tim F from the TWE blog - thanks for linking to me Some of my readers picked up the ball and ran with it - it turns out that Black Zero et al are from Panama, and their whisky is not, in fact, "Scotish" after all - what a surprise! For those interested, Chris Bunting from the excellent Japanese whisky blog Nonjatta has done a much better-written piece than my own on Japanese alcohol-free whisky here: http://nonjatta.blogspot.com/2009/06/hoisu-ky.html
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