There's a wonderful, magical place in the maze that is Tokyo station, called Liquors Hasegawa, the whisky shop of your dreams.
Actually there are two, and a "Sake Hasegawa", but one of them is more wonderful and magical than the others, for you see, not only do they have an absolutely incredible amount of whisky crammed into a tiny, tiny store, they also offer very cheap 10mL tastings (and not just of the regular stuff - plenty of rarer single cask whiskies too, like BlackAdder Raw Cask bottlings - notes up soon).
The excellent Nonjatta explains how the rules work, but basically, anything with a small red and white sticker (see below) has a price. You pay that price (rarely more than a few Aussie dollars or $20HKD) and you taste 10mL of that whisky (or other spirit). Simple.
When I started the #101drams Charitable Challenge I knew that I'd have to be creative about finding different ways to try all 101 whiskies, but I didn't expect to tick one off at a small liquor shop in a subway station. But then again, this was Japan...
The first whisky I tried was Old Pulteney 21, which was on the #101drams list along with the 17 (tasted here) and 40yo (unsurprisingly, one I've yet to taste). For ¥150, it was pretty hard not to....
Colour: Light straw.
Nose: Sweet, and very smooth and composed. Strawberries mixed with salty sea air.
Palate: Smoke, hints of spice and lots of orange peel.
Finish: Long, smokey with plenty of sea salt. Some citrus (orange) notes at the end.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. Enjoyable and quite "sessionable" (though perhaps not given its pricepoint...)