London, 10th July 2023 – Following three successful years, The House of Suntory has announced its prestigious DOJO advocacy programme will this year expand to engage 100 bartenders in three leading hospitality hubs in the UK. In the brand’s centenary year, the programme will host masterclasses in Manchester and Edinburgh, in addition to London, as part of its mission to deepen bartenders’ understanding of the philosophies behind the art of Japanese bartending.
The expansion of the programme this year will, for the first time, enable bartenders in three of the UK’s leading hospitality hubs to learn about Japanese bartending and gain insights directly from Japanese Craft Masters and hospitality industry leaders, which can be applied to strengthen any hospitality career.
Devised as an immersive experience for bartenders, this year’s programme will be led by The House of Suntory UK Brand Ambassador Raffaele Di Monaco alongside authentic Japanese Masters of Craft and will consist of two ‘tours’ in July and September. Each tour will feature two “Monozukuri Masterclasses”, with 25 bartenders in each city – Monozukuri being one of the three pillars of The House of Suntory, referring to the traditional Japanese principles of craftsmanship. To help deepen understanding of the brand’s portfolio, each masterclass tour will focus on two of its four core brands; the first tour on Roku gin and Haku vodka, followed by Toki and Hibiki whiskies in the second.
Inspired by the concept of Kaizen – “continual improvement” – the programme includes a ‘Kaizen Challenge’ to encourage participants to hone their newfound skills by applying them to a classic cocktail and rewards best practice with the chance to win a place at the DOJO Finale in November. This final stage will see the four bartenders from each city present their Kaizen Classic to judges James Bowker, The House of Suntory’s Global Advocacy Manager, and famed Bar Master Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five in Tokyo, for the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan in Spring 2024.
With community a key part of the DOJO programme, in October, 12 DOJO Finalists will also be invited to two community events to immerse them in Japanese culture with sessions on Japanese knife sharpening and a Kanpai Sake Brewery tour. As part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to fostering the bartending community, there will also be several Japanese inspired DOJO mini events in London locations throughout the year.
Raffaele di Monaco, UK Brand Ambassador for the House of Suntory, said: “The Japanese approach to bartending is unlike anything else. From the laser focus on detail, to embracing omotenashi (to wholeheartedly look after guests) and monozukuri (craftsmanship and striving towards perfection), the collective approach elevates bartending to an artform. Through the DOJO programme, we hope to bring these principles to the fore, and help bartenders enhance their repertoires as well as being able to offer unparalleled drink and hospitality experiences for their customers.”
THE DOJO PROGRAMME – MONOZUKURI MASTERCLASS TOURS
Each DOJO Masterclass is carefully curated around four Japanese crafts. From sushi making and Ikebana, to Dashi blending and Chadō – also known as Japanese Tea Ceremony – the sessions will be hosted by a specialist Japanese Master, providing bartenders with a rich understanding of Japanese artistry first hand.
Tour 1 – July 2023
Tour 2 – September 2023
For more information on DOJO, please visit www.suntorydojo.com
The Benromach Distillery Company Ltd is releasing an extremely rare and limited-edition Scotch malt whisky matured for 40 years in a single Refill Sherry Hogshead cask.
Building on the popularity of previous vintage releases from the 1970s, 184 bottles of Benromach 1978, from cask number 2608, are available for worldwide sale.
The single cask (56.3% abv) whisky has a deep golden hue with an aroma of honey and vanilla, along with ripe fruits, lime and a touch of butterscotch and fresh ginger, with smooth sweetness balanced by a hint of pepper. To taste, it has notes of pear and kiwi, with chocolate and spices, and a touch of subtle peat smoke on the finish.
Keith Cruickshank, Benromach distillery manager, said: “Over the 40 years that this intriguing whisky was maturing, it drew incredible depth, character and flavours from the wood. Outside the cask, the distillery was evolving and changing. After it closed in 1983, the distillery lay silent for more than 15 years before it was purchased by the Urquhart family in 1993 and reopened in 1998.
“Our carefully chosen Heritage single cask releases give Benromach lovers the opportunity to taste moments in time from the distillery’s rich history. We are confident our 1978 vintage will surpass expectations and are proud to be releasing such a rare and precious whisky during the 20th anniversary year of distilling restarting here at Benromach.”
Benromach 1978 is beautifully presented in a decanter-style bottle with shapes and textures inspired by the distillery. The bottle has a copper-foil embossed label and nestles in a dark oak wooden box, representing the original washbacks at Benromach. The copper cut medallion on the packaging signifies the moment in time when the distillers cut to the sweet heart of the spirit run.
The Benromach 1978 is available worldwide from 5th December 2018 with a recommended retail price (RRP) in the UK of £1,250 (€1,410). Prices in local markets will vary depending on local taxes and duty.
Benromach is one of only a few distilleries in Scotland to use traditional methods, without any automated machinery. The small team of distillers employ all their senses when crafting the classic Speyside single malt Scotch whiskies, managing the process by sight, sound and touch to create the unique, handcrafted and authentic Benromach taste.
For more information on Benromach, and to explore the range of expressions available, please visit: www.benromach.com.
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