Whiskey bars are getting popular in Hangzhou; they are sprouting like mushrooms after the rain. Here opens one on the west side of town on Gudun road near Lianhua road. It’s just around the corner from Indian Taste restaurant, and this area is quite happening at night with bars and restaurants lit up.
The owner of High Five used to be involved with Coco Banana, so this place also has a nightclub feel. The lights are dim and the music is on the loud side. During our time there, Adam Levine and Tiesto videos were playing on a large screen. One point the owner stressed is that no annoying dice games will be played here. Hurray!
High Five has over 150 different whiskeys from the regions Scottish Highlands, Scottish Lowlands, Islay, Speyside, Ireland, America, Canada, Taiwan and Japan. Whiskeys by the glass range from 60-200RMB. They also have brandy, vodka, gin, tequila, rum and wine and cocktails (60-100RMB).
I decided to try a Japanese whiskey on that night since I’ve never had one before and selected The Yamazaki Single Malt Whiskey. It has a golden honey colour and is very soft and sweet. The bartender said that Japanese whiskeys are easier for Asians to take than edgier Scottish whiskeys.
The history of Japanese whiskey started with the founder of Suntory company, Shinjiro Torii. In 1923, he dreamed of producing a Japanese whiskey aged in Japanese oak, formed in Japan’s environment and suited to the delicate palate of Japanese people. This whiskey was inspired by Scottish production, but the terrain and climate were to be uniquely Japanese. The warm and humid climate of Yamazaki on the outskirts of Kyoto was chosen as the production grounds. Today, Yamazaki is the number one whiskey in Japan. Smoking is allowed and there are ashtrays on every table.
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