SERIES

A Prologue of Seiichi Koshimizu Chapter two

The Catalyst for the Global Expansion of Japanese Whisky and Its Cultural Significance

Suntory's esteemed Chief Blender, Seiichi Koshimizu, hailed as a trailblazer in the Japanese whisky domain for elevating Japanese Whisky to unprecedented global acclaim. This interview delves into Koshimizu's philosophy, regarding Japanese Whisky as a culinary companion. Joined by Takeshi Kadokami, a prominent figure in Japan's gastronomic realm, renowned for his authoritative insights, the discussion explores the persona of Seiichi Koshimizu and his profound influence on Japanese Whisky. Together, we trace the historical trajectory of Japanese Whisky and Seiichi Koshimizu's craftsmanship, contemplating the essence of this revered spirit.

A Japanese Food and Whisky Trip

Restaurant Series 2
Japanese Cuisine Gion Sasaki

Suntory's Honorary Chief Blender Seiichi Kusumi and food producer/columnist Takashi Kadoami believe that there is a fascinating and attractive potential in the harmony between food and Japanese whisky while enjoying food and drink. Why do food and Japanese whisky go well together? Visiting Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan and various famous restaurants of different genres, they explore the secrets while pairing dishes with whisky alongside chefs who love alcohol.
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This time, they visit "Gion Sasaki," a three-star Michelin restaurant in Gion, Kyoto. Known for its Japanese cuisine counter kappo, its style is known as the "Sasakii Theater," led by the owner, Hiroshi Sasaki, whose name resounds nationwide. What kind of whisky will Chef Sasaki pair with his dishes, crafted by his sense and creativity? Pay attention to the resonance between Chef Sasaki, a whisky lover, and Koshimizu, a harmony that only Chef Sasaki can achieve.

How do overseas whisky enthusiasts and critics perceive Japanese whisky?

Dialogue Series with Taiwanese Whisky Critics and Blenders in Taiwan

During his active years at Suntory, Seiichi Koshimizu visited Taiwan several times to introduce Japanese whisky to the country. At that time, Steven Lin and Kingfisher, who felt a sense of powerlessness towards Japanese whisky, have now become prominent whisky enthusiasts and critics in Taiwan, exerting influence in the Taiwanese whisky industry. Both of them greatly respect Seiichi Koshimizu and were eagerly looking forward to this reunion and conversation.

In the current era where Japanese whisky receives global acclaim, what opinions and thoughts do Steven Lin and Kingfisher hold regarding Japanese whisky and the trends in the whisky industry? Seiichi Koshimizu's sentiments and their opinions on whisky have become a valuable dialogue that could provide significant insights into the future of Japanese whisky.

Moegi Village, where whisky enthusiasts gather

Ballet and Whisky: Exlporing their Relationship in Regional Development

One of the whiskies created by Seiichi Koshimizu is "Field Ballet 25th," a private whisky which is regarded as legendary among whisky enthusiasts.

There is a place called "Moeginomura" (Village of Sprouting Trees) is Kiyosato, Yamanashi Prefecture. It began with the opening of the ROCK café in 1971 and has evolved over half a century into a complex tourist area comprising restaurants, hotels, a brewery, cafes, merry-go-rounds, music box museums, various craft shops, and studios. The man behind the creation of this village is Joji Funaki. With the theme of creating a "high-quality rustic style countryside," he met Hiroaki Imamura, a top star in the Japanese ballet world with numerous achievements, in 1989. In 1990, they created the outdoor ballet performance "Kiyosato Field Ballet," which has been performed continuously for a long time in Japan. Then, Joji Funaki and Seiichi Koshimizu met. Seiichi Koshimizu was deeply moved by the natural environment of Moeginomura and the Kiyosato Field Ballet, experiencing them with all five senses.
"Whisky is terroir." What would happen if that sensation were expressed in whisky? Against the backdrop of the origin of Moeginomura and the Kiyosato Field Ballet, Joji Funaki and Seiichi Koshimizu delve into the untold story of the birth of the whisky "Field Ballet 25th."

Dialogue Between Former Suntory and Former Nikka Chief Blenders

Perspectives and Approaches of Blenders

Suntory's Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Hibiki. Nikka's Taketsuru and Yoichi. Seiichi Koshimizu and Tadashi Sakuma, who played key roles in creating Japanese whiskies that gained worldwide acclaim during the same era. While they were rivals both in terms of their companies and positions, when viewed from the standpoint of being "craftsmen" who create Japanese whisky, they were comrades who together shaped their times.

Do these two craftsmen share the same approach to whisky making? Are there differences in their perspectives? Now that they have retired from active duty, how will the experiences and values of these two individuals, reflecting on their whisky-making journey, influence future Japanese whisky creators?

They discuss the changing Japanese whisky market, which has garnered global attention, and its future.

Bizen Pottery and Whisky

Common Traits of Bizen Pottery and Whisky
The Flavor Transformations Produced by Bizen Ware

"Bizen Ware," a traditional Japanese craft that dates back over 1000 years, is classified as one of the oldest forms of pottery. It is made using only the clay found in Bizen and is fired in the kiln only once a year. The pottery is fired at high temperatures without using glaze, allowing the clay itself to be fully transformed by the intense heat. When the same clay is fired in the same kiln, it produces various colors and each piece becomes subtly unique, making Bizen Ware likely one-of-a-kind even when searched worldwide.

Bizen Ware is shrouded in numerous enigmas. When beer, shochu, wine, or other beverages are poured into Bizen Ware, their flavors and aromas undergo a remarkable transformation. The beer foam acquires a delicate texture, while shochu and wine gain a heightened smoothness. However, has anyone dared to explore the effects of whisky in Bizen? Surprisingly, no such endeavor appears to be documented.

Consequently, in partnership with "Kyō Isezaki," the nephew of the esteemed Bizen Ware master Jun Isezaki, we embarked on a collaborative endeavor to immerse ourselves in the world of Bizen together with Seiichi Koshimizu. As we indulged in the pleasure of whisky within the embrace of Bizen, a truly delightful revelation unfolded right before us.

An Interview with Seiichi Koshimizu

The Appeal of Whisky in the Mind of Seiichi Koshimizu

In this interview, we ask Seiichi Koshimizu questions on the past and future of Japanese whisky, based on the books he has penned;
"Whisky is Japan's Liquor"
"A Beginner's Guide to Enjoying Whisky"
"Japanese Whisky: The Road to the Top of the World"

Where does the true value of Japanese whisky lie? How do we protect it and spread it to the world even further?
Seiichi Koshimizu shares his thoughts on these important questions.

A Prologue of Seiichi Koshimizu

The Making of Whisky Blender Seiichi Koshimizu

Suntory's hall-of-fame Chief Blender Seiichi Koshimizu is considered a living legend in the world of Japanese Whisky and a prominent figure credited to bringing Japanese Whisky to the heights it is at today.
Together with Takeshi Kadokami, famed producer/columnist and an authority on all things Japanese cuisine, learn about who Seiichi Koshimizu really is, how Japanese Whisky came to be and what Japanese Whisky really is.

Questions of a Bartender to a Whisky Blender

What is the Deciding Factor in Making Whisky?

A blender: Someone who creates whisky. A bartender: someone who serves and creates an atmosphere in which to enjoy whisky.
Minoru Nishida is well-renowned and respected as a legend in the bartending world of Kyoto and Japan, just as Seiichi Koshimizu is in the world of whisky.
With a deep knowledge of whisky himself, having served as a judge in many whisky competitions, Nishida holds Koshimizu in extremely high regard and asks him many questions on what the most important thing in the whisky-making process is and what the Japanese whisky industry needs now and in the future.

The Pursuit and Enjoyment of Delicious Whisky

A Meeting of a Chef and Whisky Blender

Kenichi Hashimoto is not only the owner/chef of Kyoto's famed traditional restaurant Ryozanpaku and an unique culinary artist with a MBA from Kyoto University, but is also a close personal friend of Seiichi Koshimizu.
A former wine-lover, Kenichi Hashimoto found a new, even stronger passion for whisky and created something he calls "Whisky Kaiseki", an original fusion of whisky with the culinary masterpieces he crafted over the years.
Enjoy the peculiar discussion on cuisine and whisky between the one of the world's best whisky blenders and a first-class traditional Japanese chef.

A Japanese Food and Whisky Trip

Restaurant Series 1 Yakitori Restaurant Ayamuya Episode 1

Both Suntory's hall-of-fame Chief Blender Seiichi Koshimizu and famous food producer and columist Takeshi Kadokami believes that the combination of food and Japanese Whisky hold exciting undiscovered potential.
Why does Japanese Whisky go so well with food? In this series they set foot to different Michelin-starred and notable restaurants to discuss the secret behind Japanese Whisky and cuisine with chefs of many different cuisine genres.
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In this episode, we visit 1 Michelin-Starred Yakitori restaurant Ayamuya in Osaka.
Most people would agree that Yakitori and whisky highball go well with each other, but we take a closer look at what goes with what.
Koshimizu and Kadokami, together with Chef Naganuma, explore the compatibility of Yakitori and Whisky.