To be honest, the tour offers not much in the way of new information for knowledgable whisky folks. It's more of a beginner's tour through the whiskymaking process. But it is free. Something I did learn: Though I knew that Yamazaki and Hakushu make numerous types of whiskies in each of distillery for blending purposes, the differences in those whiskies didn't just have to do with peating/non-peating and distillation times, but were also due to the usage of different yeast strains. It was nice to hear officially from a distillery that they were playing with yeasts. I doubt you'll hear that from (m)any Scotch distilleries.
My favorite part of the tour was the many smells throughout, especially in the fermentation room with its super fruity/beery/bakery scents. The barrel warehouse smelled nice and musty, though I sorta think the warehouse was for show because it was mostly empty. (Another fact: Yamazaki does not climate control its warehouses, so the temperature and humidity is what it is.)
|Not pictured: most of my sideburns|
Oh and yes, there was a tasting room. Er, The Tasting Room. On Friday: The Yamazaki Tasting Room.
|Note: unrelated photo|