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Number One Drinks Company

Yesterday (Wednesday 5th May 2010), I met with the inspiring and charismatic man in the UK behind Number One Drinks Company,  Marcin Miller.

For those not familiarly with what the brand offers your missing an absolute treat!

Number One Drinks Company was founded in August 2006 by Marcin and David Croll (who is based in Japan). They began trading in September 2006 with an initial shipment of award-winning single malts from the defunct Hanyu Distillery. 

Since the 1990s both chaps were aware that many fantastic whiskies were difficult for enthusiasts to find outside Japan. which triggered them to do something. So now David sources samples, which are assessed by a tasting panel prior to selection; casks are then purchased, bottled and shipped to Marcin in the UK to be sold to specialist retailers and venues in the on-trade.

At his point I have to add two a side notes and please correct me if I’m wrong!

Firstly, Marcin might possibly be the Polish or Russian (?) pop singer you can find on Youtube.

Secondly, when you work with whisky for as long as both these gents your passion of whisky doesn’t disappear, but becomes channelled.

Moving on to our tasting…

Arriving 10 minutes early at the Coburg Bar, Mayfair, I was greeted by the Bar Manager and superb range of single malts they have on display.  Marcin was on his way, so I sat chatting and perusing the bar menu – dreaming about sampling the 1st release Port Ellen at £200 a nip!

In timely fashion I’m shaking the hand of not only a possible eastern block pop legend, but also a whisky icon. We begin proceedings with incredibly good cocktails made with Berry Bros No. 3 gin. A Nergoni made with Attica Formula is a definite must before cleansing the palette and starting to get down to whisky tasting.

Click here to see more japanese whisky reviews at Nonjatta

Great Japanese whisky blog, click for more reviews

The samples are all from Karuizawa, a distillery which open in 1956. Sold single malt in 1987, and is now sadly Mothballed with an uncertain future ahead. The production was designed to mimic scotch, but the end result for me personally is better than most Scotch whisky every time I’ve tried it!  Karuizawa has been described as the product of the Japanese version of a Russian oil lords demand for a distillery ( i.e. take a hugely expensive site, build small stills, only use sherry casks and import barley from Berwick!).

Either way this is an amazing distillery and the spec. of all the casks from Number One is incredible.

Coming soon… reviews of single casks from 1996, 1987 and 1981


The Whisky Guy

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