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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Guide To Drinking Japanese Whisky

I would be lying if I told you I know a lot about alcohol, let alone Japanese alcohol.

I might have drunk enough of it to be confused for a naval crew on shore leave, but that doesn’t mean I know anything other than “drink goes here” pointing at my mouth.

During my three years + in Japan, my drink of choice was Coca-Cola, followed by anything with vodka in it.

Then I switched to rum and Coke, and then switched to a bourbon and soda.

I shouldn’t say “switched” per se, as it was actually me having those types of drinks one after the other on any one night out.

I also peppered my imbibing with beer and sake… with the former and later both garnering me a reputation among my Japanese cohorts as a “hebi durinka”… which isn’t drunk talk, but rather a katakana way of saying “heavy drinker” in English… though to be honest, I probably would have pronounced it that way after some of those nights out.

Nahhhhh… I could drink… drink a lot… I’d get toasted, then drunk, but not very often stoopid-drunk (maybe 4x in total), where I’d puke or do something stupid… but the three times I did ralph, it was after three Flaming Blue Lamborghini drinks, and the other time I broke into a taxidermy scene at a hotel to lay down in the forest scene amongst a deer (but no antelope, go figure… unless I was the antelope… wow… I think I just blew my mind… pkewwwww).

That later one was after drinking well over 10 beers, 10+ shots of sake and a glass of whiskey on a basically empty stomach.

Hey… I never claimed to be smart, just not stupid… though the above is scant evidence of a truism there.

My point is, is that I drank to excess, not for enjoyment.

I didn’t get grabby, or annoying (I hope), but instead just got louder and funnier (I hope), as apparently the more one drinks there’s an inverse ratio of deafness involved.

It didn’t seem to affect any randiness on my part, but aside from the wild AET get-togethers, and cry-in-my drink sessions over a break-up or 12, I never drank at home when alone, and only did so in my apartment when company was around such as with Matthew who would bring a beer or two, or Ashley who would share a bottle of Southern Comfort…. but I knew in her case, it was best to let her have most of it, and to be ready when she was.

While it is true that I spent a lot of time in a bar, in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan during my time there, I spent very little time there actually drinking alcohol.

I might have a glass or bottle of something, but I would show up at the local watering hole on weekday nights awaiting to be picked up by some suspecting (no unsuspecting here!) woman who had heard from someone that I could be a fun date with no strings attached.

I know… I was bad… but when I was bad, I was even better. Thanks, Mae.

As such… i had no idea, and didn’t care to know, much about what constituted a good drink, or a better drink. To me, all roads led to inebriation or back to my place. Rarely both.

In Japan, I tried to dress as well as gaijin-ly possible. It was nigh-on impossible to purchase clothing in my sizes, let alone anything stylish, so I had shirts, pants and a jacket made for me in Singapore (I love color!), and bought the not-yet fashionable for another six months teal jacket when I was back in Toronto one summer. It was more greeny and bluey, but it was teal when no one had teal in North America, except for perhaps Montreal, which is always ahead of the fashion curve, I think.

I would wear ties and hairbands (for my long hair) that matched each other, wore two watches (one each wrist), with local and Toronto times… and basically did my best to look good… though I did have crappy shoes.

I was a metrosexual before the term existed… though I wonder if my refusal to give a crap about what I was drinking would disqualify me from the term?

For those of you who care, GQ (Gentleman’s Quarterly) has published an article about the best Japanese Whisky… but please keep in mind, the beverages discussed are merely one person’s opinion.

Also, please note that just because something is priced at a high level does not mean it is good. It could simply merely be high-priced.

Read the GQ article HERE.

Kanpai,
Andrew "peasant" Joseph

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