In my professional career I deal with many different Japanese companies in the state of Kentucky. Because of Toyota and that their National Headquarters being located just south of Cincinnati OH, many Japanese based companies have established residency or sister locations to support this giant auto-maker. To support the ever growing relationship between Americans and Japanese culture, there was is a Japan/America Society that was established in Kentucky in 1987. To read more about them, see the following link: JASK Their goal is to organize a variety of business, cultural, educational and social programs throughout the Bluegrass. Their most recent business meeting was called, Bourbon Meets Sake - Perspectives on working with Japanese, working in Japanese, and working in Japan. Essentially the meeting was a round table format with local businesses that were wanting to learn more about the Japanese work culture. Also in attendance was Four Roses and Blanton's. For those who do not know, both companies are Japanese owned. What you say? But isn't Blanton's a Buffalo Trace Product? Well first thing, that's Sazerac and second, no they are not. Buffalo Trace bottles their product but Blanton's is owned by a Japanese company bought in the early 80's from the Ancient Ancient Age Distillery. Both bourbons are a single barrel and Blanton's claims they were the first single barrel, but that will be addressed in a later post.
Overall, the meeting was went very well. I was thrilled to speak with the Blanton's representative and of course have free samples of two of the best bourbons made. If I only could have made some suggestions, I would have told them to leave info on the bourbons and the sake they brought to sample but because they didn't I can not tell you which sake I tried. I understand that is not good form, and I will will learn from that experience as I move on, but I hope that what you take from this post is one, don't turn down good bourbon, two grow your network out of your culture, three, doesn't matter who owns the company, and four look for every opportunity to meet and greet anyone that you can.
Four Roses Bourbon