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Suntory Canned Tory’s Highball Pineapple Supervised by Shinbashi Tory’s Bar

トリスハイボール缶〈新橋トリスバー監修 パイナップル〉

 

 

Suntory recently launched a limited summer variant of its very popular canned Highball - this time in a pineapple-flavoured version, and under the tagline "Supervised by Shinbashi Tory's Bar".

The idea here was to also stir excitement and promote the somewhat recently opened Tory's Bar in Shinbashi, Tokyo, which was revived in June 2022, and would serve uniquely flavoured Highballs, much like this limited time pineapple variant.

Most folks who're into Japanese alcoholic drinks would probably know of Uncle Torys - the affable, blocky shaped, bald-headed, collage-styled character you would tend to spot on Suntory's alcoholic products. 

 

Uncle Torys - the spirit of a generation.

 

Having a mascot is hardly the most unusual marketing practice - after all it helps to personify a brand and make it more relatable to its target customers. But Uncle Torys most certainly has a story worth talking about.

Back in the 1950's, Japan was rebounding from the aftermath of WWII and many Japanese folks shared the sentiment of working hard for a brighter future, which itself led to the characterisation of the "Japanese salaryman".

As Suntory sought to sell its whiskies to the Japanese public, it would quickly realise that the Scottish-styled practice of drinking whisky neat didn't quite sit with the local palate, and would thus re-work its whiskies into the form of the popular Highball - one part whisky and two parts soda water, and toss in a wedge of lemon.

 

At one point not too long ago, Tory's Bars were everywhere.

 

In the midst of Japan's turnaround, Suntory theorised that many of these Japanese salarymen would appreciate a stopover on the way home, after a hard day's work, where they could have a drink that would fuel them for the coming days - Tory's Bar was born.

Over the course of the next two decades, more than 1,500 Tory's Bars would be opened across Japan - it became a cultural phenomenon.

To aid this effort, Suntory hired a Ryohei Yanagihara or "Ryo", who was a graduate from the Tokyo Arts School, to serve as the editor for a "Spirits Heaven" magazine that would be distributed at Tory's Bars.

 

Ryohei Yanagihara, who was hired by Suntory and created the Uncle Torys character. 

 

As part of his work, he would conceptualise and create the Uncle Torys character, which he had hoped would capture the zeitgeist of the Japanese salaryman. The character was successful at evoking a feeling relatability and empathy with these Japanese salarymen and eventually found itself plastered all over across Japan, even inspiring a whole line of associated paraphernalia.

And while Uncle Torys has stayed till this day, the Tory's Bar hasn't - not only did the success of the concept inspire much competition, but as Japan has moved on from that era, so did its core audience, most of whom are senior citizens today, and well out of the workforce.

 

 

Coming back to this limited-time pineapple-flavoured canned Highball, it's nice to see Uncle Torys keeping chirpy and full of vigour - and perhaps after several decades of inaction, the new generation of Japanese salary workers might just have worked up a reinvigorated appetite for Tory's Bar. 

Suntory Canned Tory’s Highball Pineapple Supervised by Shinbashi Tory’s Bar - Review | トリスハイボール缶〈新橋トリスバー監修 パイナップル〉- レビュー

 

Tasting Notes

Color: Pale Straw

Aroma: Really strong aromas of confectionary pineapple, which for some reason reminds me of Kodomo toothpaste that’s pineapple flavoured. Lots of candied pineapple.

Taste: Really smooth, not as sweet as you might’ve thought. Still candied pineapple but more mellow here, with lighter notes of lemon juice as well and carbonated water. It’s quite lightly carbonated and thicker than you’d expect as well. 

Finish: Clean, with light dustings of powdered sugar and a gentle touch of candied pineapple. Little bit more of that toothpaste.

 

My Thoughts

This was very aromatic - you could smell it instantly, with all those candied pineapple aromas but surprisingly it was quite  fragrant and attractive for anyone drinking to want to taste it.

On the palate, thankfully it isn’t particularly sweet, and it’s more aromatic than anything else, but still with some of that candied pineapple nonetheless, and also alittle bit of lemon juice. I suppose some folks might want the pineapple flavours to be heavier and more apparent here, but I found it just nice for me.

The finish was also pretty enjoyable with a light bit of sugared pineapple that lingers which is a pretty good taste to leave on the palate.

It’s altogether very refreshing, easy to drink and enjoy and I’d definitely get this again.

   

My Rating: 7/10

 

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

   

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot