On Monday, April 16th, from 6pm – 9:30pm, Moshi is very happy to have Amanda Victoria and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society back and we have a stellar evening planned. In addition to the selection of SMWS bottles already on the back-bar from Moshi’s last event with SMWS, Amanda and I have curated an additional six expressions designed to get your whisky-brain shooting off fireworks. In addition, Moshi will be offering special, culinary pairings for those that want a nosh with their whisky. On hand, in very limited quantities, will be 28.35, 9.124, 9.113, 4.225, 29.222, and a sneak preview of July Outturn 7.187. Members and non-members are all welcome to join. And most important: Do not drink and drive. Please have a designated driver or use public transport; much appreciated
My first experience with The SMWS bottles was in Kyoto, five years ago at a whisky bar that is now called K6, that seems to have been part of a dream. It was before I was nerding out on Japanese whisky and therefore my lack of notes is disheartening, except for a few, poorly captured, photos. I was thirstily looking at all the Japanese whisky and chose two Suntory The Owner’s Cask single cask whiskies to start my journey. As I was enjoying my whisky my eye started focusing on the line of bottles acting like crown molding for the back bar. What were these oddly mysterious bottles? I had never seen anything like it, the similar design, except for the differing red numbers, and the changing text. The bartender saw my curiosity and handed me a menu with all The SMWS expressions they had on hand.
As with all single cask expressions, my first moment drinking SMWS might only be repeated with several thousand dollars as the two expressions I followed The Owner’s Casks with are now super rare. The SMWS 119.10 (19 year single cask from Yamazaki) and 116.18 (18 year single cask from Yoichi) were fireworks in my mouth. I could expound on the actual nose and taste but the labels on the bottle were spot on:
119.10 “I wish it could be Christmas every day!” Guatemalan rum, dried fruit, brown sugar and Christmas pudding envelope the nose; figgy nut cake and latte come with water. The palate is rich and thick, with dark chocolate and crème brûlée, sherry, liquorice and treacle. A wonderfully balanced, sherried dram.
116.18 “Amazing toffee, honey sweetness” A nose of lacquered wood, Marsala-soaked raisins, toffee apples, cinnamon donuts and damson crumble. With water honey, fudge, brandy snaps, ginger and perfume. The palate is all sherried Xmas cake with marzipan, toasted almonds, red cola rocky road and sweet oak.
I am always on the lookout for drams of these stellar bottles. On my last trip to Tokyo I found myself at The Mash Tun, another amazing whisky bar to snuggle into. Toru Suzuki, the proprietor, offered up the last dram of SMWS 120.7 (a 14 year single cask from Hakushu and maybe my favorite so far).
Mitsuru, the owner of Moshi, and I are heading to Tokyo this Spring and we will be sure to go to the newer partner bar for The Scotch Malt Whisky Society at the Park Hotel, The Society, and see what we can dig up.
But in the meantime, come by Moshi Moshi to say hi to Amanda, Mitsuru and myself on Monday, April 16, from 6:00pm to 9:30pm. You will be able to tell us if the team at SMWS got the notes on this 19 year single cask from Laphroaig right:
29.222 “Fruits de mer” Sweetly welcoming with praline, digestive biscuits and roasted chestnuts, the nose quickly embodied the familiar air of peat smoke and burnt heather with salty oyster shells, empty fish crates and rock pools. The aroma of putty became a common reoccurrence along with the underlying juicy-fruitiness of wine gums, blackcurrant sweets and lime juice which mingled with a minty hint to give the impression of a refreshing mojito. Water emphasized the more maritime and medicinal mélange of tarry rope, first aid box, herbal cough syrup and ship’s engine grease whilst being lifted by floral lavender and a lovely waxy mouth feel.
You do not have to be a Society member to take part in this event, but I hope you leave as one.
-Lanny Lighthill, GM
Join us for Open Studios at Moshi Moshi on Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29 from 11:00am to 6:00pm as Tom Reed presents works from his acclaimed book The Granite Avatars of Patagonia and beyond. Tom Reed will be here to answer questions about his current and future work.
My art is black and white photography, inspired by many, but especially by the photographs of Ansel Adams, the plein air paintings of the Sierras by Edgar Payne, the paintings of the Hudson River School, and the deep understanding of aesthetics by my teacher, Dr. Shozo Sato, a master of the fine arts of Japan. All are natural compositions. The medium is digital, each photograph bears my personal “chop,” a stamp that is the traditional way of indicating authorship in Chinese and Japanese ink painting and calligraphy. My prints are archival-quality giclée. I have chosen to use basic, inexpensive cameras to stress the importance of composition in my work. New York photographer Sylvia Plachy helped me to be confident with this choice. The compositions are based largely on the concepts of Japanese flower arranging, incorporating the dominant/subdominant/subordinate tri-unity, as well as abundant use of empty space (in sky, shadow, water or snow).
The experience of awe is central to my orientation as a photographer. Contemplation of beauty has led me to a yin/yang experience of comforting and shocking beauty (corresponding to exhalation and inhalation). I am primarily interested in shocking beauty–what people call a “moving” or “inspiring” scene. I find black and white prints to be more striking and dramatic, and more readily experienced as sublime.
If we are presented with an awe-inspiring image of nature, we have the opportunity to feel that emotion fully, and to inquire why we feel it. My suspicion is that most people will then conclude that Nature is in some way sacred, or even divine. Maybe then the dominant utilitarian view of Nature will begin to shift towards one of reverence. This shift is essential in this age of environmental decline. I see my work as a contribution to the very survival of humanity.
It is my hope that my images will bring the viewer to aesthetic arrest, stirring awe and instilling a reverence for the spectacular planet that we inhabit and must care for if our species is to evolve to our full potential.
During this year with Artspan I will reveal some new projects: “The Totems of High Mountain Lakes,” “The Nude Human,” and “Pavement.” The first is due to the Dogpatch studio tour being held on Halloween weekend, the latter two reflect my appreciation of the beauty to be found in the city.
San Francisco, October, 2017
Mits and I love eating tako yaki. My first order was with Mits on my first trip to Japan in 2009. I really didn’t know what to expect but Mits kept raving about the soft, gooey, street confection months before our trip, so anticipation for my first order was high. The tako yaki stall we stumbled onto was close to the Nishiki food market in the covered, downtown, shopping district of Kyoto. The scene unfolding before me was amazingly new: large, whole octopus being plunged into steamy water, batter being poured on to desk-size, iron pans with a hundred half spheres depressed into them, and the deft work of the tako yaki chef as he scraped and turned all the individual pockets of runny batter into spheres as the dough cooked. Upon ordering the chef flipped five into a dish and slathered the steamy balls in thick, salty-sweet sauce then sprinkled shaved bonito (which is a dried and smoked fish) on top.
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