Swanky. Kinda like a 1930’s Chicago speakeasy meets Brooklyn 2003. But don’t let the ambiance fool you, this bar serves up a wide variety I’m here not for the cocktails, but for the whisky, specifically the whisky tasting set.
Brillant Bar is big, quite unlike many bars in Tokyo, with rose colored seating arranged for conversation. It’s not lost on me – I’m a black woman sitting in a whisky bar in Japan, and just in case I’d forgotten, all eyes were discretely peering at me:-) This bar is located on the second floor, 1 flight below lobby level of the Keio Plaza hotel (http://keioplaza.com).
My flight comprised of three whiskies: Miyagikyo, Ichiro’s Malt and Hibiki 17.
- Miyagikyo 15 YRO(Nikko Distillery) – This single malt whisky features a full and mature nose. Miyagikyo isn’t very peaty, and its palate is sweet, fragrant and rich.
- Ichiro’s Malt ( Hanyu & Chichibu Distilleries)- This Double Distillery single malt (double malt haha) blend whisky was sweet and lovely. Its subtle flavors were quite harmonious
- Hibiki 17 YRO (Suntory) – This is seriously one of my faves! It’s a blend from Suntory’s Hakushu and Yamazaki distilleries. As with Ichiro’s Malt, the Japanese oak brings out a complex nose which makes this whisky especially delicious, complex, sweet and extremely easy to drink with nothing else but a drop or two of H2O.
The Brillant Bar, is really a nice bar to enjoy whisky and people watch. While I’m not big on cocktails, I never tire of watching the bartenders carve the ice, shake and pour.
On a side note, my server’s English was a little hesitant but his whisky knowledge was pretty good, an essential quality for a bartender in any good whisky bar.