Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Tasting Rules at Liquors Hasegawa

Post by Stefan of Tokyo Whisky Hub
Liquors Hasegawa, near Tokyo station, is a liquor enthusiast’s paradise for many reasons – it’s conveniently located, the selection is fantastic, the staff very knowledgeable and you can try-before-you-buy at nominal prices. Unfortunately, Liquors Hasegawa has had to revise its tasting policy. It was not unusual for people – I hesitate to write “customers” – to drop by, sample some new whiskies, bourbons, armagnacs, calvados and what-not for a few hundred yen and then … leave. It wasn’t really ideal from the point of view of the staff – it’s not set up as a bar! – and the point of view of actual costumers – people who were actually there to purchase a bottle or two. The new rules are here (in Japanese) and my good friend Eric over at the Malty Moments blog took the trouble to translate them for us. Basically, tasting is now only possible when it is in the context of helping you decide what to purchase, with a limit of 2 samples at a time (and 5 a day, for which you’d have come back a few times on the same day, I guess). The new rules will come into effect on April 20th, the first day of Whisky Live.

6 comments:

Hyst said...

My comment is not really linked to these new tasting rules (which seems fair to me by the way) but is there an equivalent to Liquors Hasegawa in Osaka ?

Or at least a good liquors store in Osaka with more choice than the classical Suntory whiskies?

Stefan said...

Not really. There are plenty of good bars there, but in terms of liquor shops it's a bit of a wasteland, to be honest. I visit Osaka a few times a year and so far I haven't found anything that even comes close to the top liquor shops in Tokyo.

Niels Viveen said...

Stefan, that wine/whisky store behind chrysta and the LV store is decent enough. Not awesome, but decent.

Hyst said...

Thank you Stefan for your quick answer... which unfortunately confirms what I have seen through my Internet research prior to my visit in Osaka next week...

Niels Viveen, where is located that decent wine/whisky store? Do you have the name of that store?

My goal is to find some Mars Maltage but also the Kirin Sanroku and my feeling is that this is going to be pretty hard...

Stefan said...

The store is called "Bon Repas" and it is basically an import food/drinks store (wine, cheese, ham, a bit of whisky - including the most foul Japanese whisky you'll ever come across). They had a decent selection of whiskies years ago, but basically, they stopped "updating" it. Friends of mine who live in Osaka told me that the selection is such now that when they go there (and these people are maltfreaks!) they usually leave the store with cheese and Belgian beer.
In Japan, the reality is that most people usually buy whisky on the internet and have it delivered to their house (which is often free).

Ἀντισθένης said...

The stipulation on buying is fair: maybe precharge people a deposit of a few thousand yen. Two at a time is too few, and nonsensical with five in a day.