Japanese Whiskey Tasting at Radio Bar

The Gagit’s usually do not go to a class just to drink, but for a Japanese Whiskey tasting we would drive to Tokyo!  But no need, because right South of Fifth is Radio Bar, and it hosted, as part of their monthly Mixology series, a Japanese Whiskey tasting on June 24th.  I usually do not drink Scotch, but a tasting at Pok Pok Brooklyn a few years ago was all I needed to make Japanese Whiskey my "go to" Brown Liquor.

We enter Radio Bar and it was all set up for this Mixology class and we are greeted by Aldo the Mixologist. Before, the class begins , we are first invited by Teddy Collins, the General Manager to their new restaurant next door Red Ginger for a special treat , a taste of Sake and then back to Radio Bar for the whiskey tasting.

Tonight, since the three whiskeys, are all from Suntory Distiller , their representative Victor is here to present the Japanese Whiskey class. The first Whiskey presented is Hakushu , 12-year-old Japanese Single Malt Whiskey. Hakushu, is made in a distillery in the Japanese Southern Alps. It is a blend of Japanese water from the mountain rain forest, Peat and Barley from  Scotland, aged 12 years with rich fruity aromas with a  soft smoke taste.

The second bottle for tasting tonight is Hibiki, Japanese 12-year-old Blended Whiskey. It is true Blend of Single Malt and regular whiskeys. It is bamboo charcoal filtered with plum -liqueur cask maturation. Its unique 24 -facet bottle representing the Japanese lunar calendar.  Japanese Whiskey lovers like the Gagit’s  enjoy its signature spicy fruity and hint of sourness at the finish.

The third and last bottle to taste of the night is the highest brand  of the Suntory group, Yamazaki , 12 year old Single Malt Whiskey.Yamazaki is the first Japanese single malt whiskey. Its secret lies not only from the Barley from Scotland , but matured in three different oak casks, Spanish Oak, American White Oak, and Japanese “Mizunara” giving the whiskey its complex taste and unique flavor. It is a medium bodied whiskey with  aromas of honey and dried fruit, and a lingering woody, dry finish. Yamazaki is so popular it is on the hardest to find list so even tasting is a treat.

Although, we tasted all three Japanese Whiskeys, we are not through, as we now could make our own cocktail based on the Red Ginger recipe of Josh, the mixologist at Red Ginger. The drink is based on a Negroni with Scotch and called "Hashtag" , and the recipe, 1 ounce Hakushi, 1 ounce Cocchi Sweet Vermouth and half ounce each of Amaro Montenegro and Suze Liquer and 2 two quick drops of Angostura Bitters, put in ice, stir and strain and my drink is shown ready to drink with an orange peel after Josh passed it in the straw test.

Let the Truth be Told, we were looking forward to tasting Japanese Whiskey but not expecting the outstanding  treat we were extended by all at Radio Bar and Red Ginger, and we even got to take home the bar supplies used in mixing our Cocktail. On the way out, Teddy told me next months  Mixology class is Pisco, and I told him we will be there to not only to taste but to enjoy the hospitality of the Radio Bar staff.

Radio Bar South Beach 

814 1st St.

Miami Beach, Fl  33139

305 397 8382