Who are you and where are you based?
My name is James Bowker, I’m the Head Bartender at The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel. We’re a cool little family business that specialise in providing people from all walks of life with the ultimate cocktails, afternoon teas and bedrooms. On top of that, we have an incredible spirits selection with hundreds of Whiskies and Rums, as well as a plentiful supply of other fantastic spirits! We curate collections from a variety of places, but really we are known for our Bourbons, Japanese Whiskies and Scottish Malts. That being said, there really is something for everybody here!
What’s your favourite from your selection?
If we’re going all out, my absolute favourite has to be Hakushu 25 Year Old Japanese Whisky. Distilled high in the mountains, this is a rare whisky to be sure. If you aren’t convinced by me telling you how special it is, check out Jim Murray’s review in the Whisky Bible…this is a dram not to be messed with. This stuff is virtually impossible to get hold of any more, as aged stock of Japanese whiskies dwindles. This one has been especially affected, but that does not reduce its importance to the Japanese whisky fan…it is better hundreds of drams I have enjoyed over the years and is a bottle I one day hope to own for myself!
What are the key tasting notes and why have you picked it?
The key tasting notes change with every sip you take. It is a nostalgic whisky, one that you can drink slowly as it takes you on a journey through your past. One moment it is picking apples from a local orchard, the next it is toasting marshmallows on a Scout camp in your teens. Then it looks sideways at you, winks, and throws you to Normandy with notes of Sage, Lavender and Rosemary. Then I get my Granny’s infamous Crumbles, a walk through the world’s best sweetshop and finish off eating candied nuts at the beach. It is, simply put, a dram of many mysteries. But it is so much fun.
How much does it retail for at your establishment?
We list it as ‘Market Price’, due to its rarity. The last time we sold it was quite a while back now, for £175.00, but it has increased in value since then. Let us know if you’d like to try it, and our team will let you know its current value!