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Robmo
03-07-2011, 07:52
Just in case you hadn't seen yet:
you can now buy canned Four Roses and IW Harper bourbon "highballs" in Japan. I haven't been tempted to try either one yet, though I'm sure there will come a time. It's part of an overall whisky'n'soda in a can trend here.

You can also get a Four Roses "highball" with your whopper at Burger King in Japan. I have had this, and it does make the dining experience slightly more enjoyable. It's pretty weak though.
http://www.cnngo.com/tokyo/drink/burger-king-your-new-watering-hole-711074?quicktabs_2=1

Just thought I'd relay this info.

cowdery
03-07-2011, 09:18
"Highball" is kind of a generic term. What's the actual mixer? The ingredient(s) other than whiskey?

This sort of thing is very big in Australia, where more bourbon is consumed in ready-to-drink beverages than any other way. It's typically mixed with cola or "dry" (what they call ginger ale).

This sort of thing has never been popular in the USA and probably never will be because of taxation and distribution restrictions.

Robmo
03-07-2011, 09:33
"Highball" is kind of a generic term. What's the actual mixer? The ingredient(s) other than whiskey?



For the canned versions it's club soda; for the burger king version you can get it either with ginger ale or cola.

In Japan for the last year or so there's been a "highball" craze... it almost always means whisk(e)y mixed with soda water. I keep pointing out that the term highball means something a little different, but my lectures usually fall on deaf ears. Especially when I'm talking to someone from Suntory.:lol:

cowdery
03-07-2011, 09:44
The Wikipedia definition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highball) is pretty consistent with my understanding of the term.

Robmo
03-07-2011, 17:02
The Wikipedia definition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highball) is pretty consistent with my understanding of the term.

Oh yeah, I'm completely with you. I keep trying to point out that a highball could be any one of a number of things, not just whiskey and soda. However, once the marketing industry in Japan decides on the meaning of a term, the rest of the country marches in step. Technical definitions be damned.

darkluna
03-07-2011, 20:05
I'd try one of these, if given the opportunity.

What's the whiskey to mixer ratio and how big are the cans?

Robmo
03-07-2011, 21:26
I'd try one of these, if given the opportunity.

What's the whiskey to mixer ratio and how big are the cans?

The cans are "normal" soda size...looks like about 7% alcohol. Once I've actually tried em' myself I'll post some more details. Sorry I can't be more exact right now.

squire
03-08-2011, 09:41
Just the thing for the ice fishing crowd.

darkluna
03-08-2011, 21:07
The cans are "normal" soda size...looks like about 7% alcohol. Once I've actually tried em' myself I'll post some more details. Sorry I can't be more exact right now.

I think normal soda size varies from country to country. I'm guessing it's something less than a 12oz can equivalent?

silverfish
03-09-2011, 07:36
I think normal soda size varies from country to country. I'm guessing it's something less than a 12oz can equivalent?

According to this page (http://www.japantoday.com/category/features/view/high-ball), they are 250 ML (approx. 8.5 oz) cans - 24 per case.

cowdery
03-09-2011, 12:27
Most of the big brands are into the RTDs in a big way. Wild Turkey built a warehouse just for aging bourbon intended for RTDs, which is typically aged a mere two years, just long enough to achieve "straight" status.

I wonder who takes those barely-used barrels and if they pay a premium for them?

Robmo
03-11-2011, 04:35
I think normal soda size varies from country to country. I'm guessing it's something less than a 12oz can equivalent?

I picked up the "four roses highball in can" today at the local convenience store. 350 ml (or about 12 oz.). I'll report on the taste in a later post.

BTW yes the earthquake was tremendous today. Damn scary. Aftershocks still shaking us every half hour or so.

awhiskeydrink
03-11-2011, 05:32
My buddy Nonjatta’s been talking about all the “canned drams” hitting Japan latelly (if anyone’s interested nonjatta (http://nonjatta.blogspot.com/2011/02/canned-drams.html)). I check out his blog for Japanese single-malts because, let’s be honest, I don’t know the first thing about the market.

I’m a fair-weather fan when it comes to Four Roses. They seem to rely on yeast to get all their flavor instead of grains and barrels. I mean, the stuff is very good, but not “my cup of tea.” I did a really thorough taste testing, with my wife believe it or not, last week of Four Roses. I found water really opens it up with 5 parts bourbon: 1 part water (not the 4:1 you often see).

I skeptical on cans, but will definitely try anything with an open mind.

Thanks for the post,
Swift
awhiskeydrink.com (http://www.awhiskeydrink.com/)

darkluna
03-11-2011, 19:42
I picked up the "four roses highball in can" today at the local convenience store. 350 ml (or about 12 oz.). I'll report on the taste in a later post.

BTW yes the earthquake was tremendous today. Damn scary. Aftershocks still shaking us every half hour or so.

What part of Japan are you in? The news and pictures are very scary. Stay safe!

Robmo
03-19-2011, 05:55
I finally tried one of the Four Roses "highballs" this evening.

First of all the relevant facts: it is a 350ml can, 7% alcohol, which by my crude calculations (think I remember high school algebra, but barely) means the can contains about about 61 ml or 17% Four Roses, if you figure FR yellow label is 40% alcohol. The remainder of the product is carbonated water, sweetener, flavor additives and preservatives.

I was underwhelmed by it: I was actually more underwhelmed than I expected to be. Overall it was weak and colorless--literally and figuratively.

For comparison purposes I made my own FR "highball" to try alongside the canned version: just Four Roses, soda water and some ice in a glass. No big surprises: the homemade version tasted better simply because it contained a higher concentration of bourbon.

I'm disappointed with the product because I was hoping it would be tasty enough to recommend to friends and serve perhaps as a "gateway" to bourbon for more people in Japan. I doubt that's going to happen.

I'm not a big fan of bourbon'n'soda highballs either canned or homemade. I enjoy a good scotch-and-soda on occasion but for some reason bourbon doesn't lend itself to this. Bourbon is much better with ginger ale or coca cola, if any fizz is added at all.

If I end up purchasing this product again it will be one of those "beer" situations where for whatever reason I don't want beer. Other than that I won't buy it again.

I do like FR yellow label neat or on the rocks, by the way. So does my wife.

camduncan
03-19-2011, 13:32
We're the number one Bourbon RTD nation in the world in Australia..... I'm supprised it isn't available here :skep: Maybe if FR enters our market one day it will be :bigeyes:

cowdery
03-19-2011, 14:08
Four Roses is owned by a Japanese brewer, after all, and Kirin was Seagram's agent in Japan before Kirin bought the brand, so Four Roses is very well established there. In fact, I have been told that many Japanese feel that Four Roses is 'their' bourbon, which it is literally but the connection goes deeper than that.

Four Roses still considers itself to be in the process of fully re-entering the United States, a project in which it has been engaged for the last decade. Four Roses is also well established in much of Europe, so it has a large base outside the United States.

This is just a long way of saying don't hold your breath until it comes to Australia.

On the other hand, Australia is Wild Turkey's biggest market outside the USA, so you have that going for you.

Robmo
03-20-2011, 20:05
We're the number one Bourbon RTD nation in the world in Australia..... I'm supprised it isn't available here :skep: Maybe if FR enters our market one day it will be :bigeyes:

you do indeed seem to have a lot options! http://www.docsliquor.com.au/Shopper/Category.aspx?id=Bourbon-RTD&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

camduncan
03-20-2011, 20:19
Four Roses is owned by a Japanese brewer, after all, and Kirin was Seagram's agent in Japan before Kirin bought the brand, so Four Roses is very well established there. In fact, I have been told that many Japanese feel that Four Roses is 'their' bourbon, which it is literally but the connection goes deeper than that.

Four Roses still considers itself to be in the process of fully re-entering the United States, a project in which it has been engaged for the last decade. Four Roses is also well established in much of Europe, so it has a large base outside the United States.

This is just a long way of saying don't hold your breath until it comes to Australia.

On the other hand, Australia is Wild Turkey's biggest market outside the USA, so you have that going for you.

I'm definately not holding my breath Chuck :lol: There's a couple of retail stores that bring Four Roses bottles in via the UK.. A bit on the high side to buy, but not so much that I can't get a bottle every now and again.

I do have hopes we'll see it here one day in the distant future though...