[Review] Ichirose Malt Double Distilleries (DD)

DD is an acronym for Double Distilleries, meaning “two distilleries” and is made from a blend of raw materials from the Hanyu distillery, which was closed in 2000, and the Chichibu distillery, which was established in 2008.
The Hanyu distillery is already closed, so there is a possibility that the product will be sold out when the existing malt is gone.

Ichirose Malt is so popular and difficult to obtain that it sells out immediately when it appears in stores, but the Leaf Series (Quercus Wood Reserve, Winewood Reserve, and Double Distilleries), which can be called the standard product, is extremely popular and captivates whisky fans.

1. Manufacturer

Venture Whiskey Co.

Established2004
Head office location 49 Midorigaoka, Chichibu-shi, Saitama 368-0067 Japan
Distilleries ownedChichibu Distillery, Chichibu No.2 Distillery

2. Distillery

Venture Whiskey Chichibu Distillery

Location 49 Midorigaoka, Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, 368-0067 Japan
Start of operations 2007

Single malt whiskey production rooted in the climate of Chichibu is carried out.
Mr. Ichiro Akuto, the founder of the distillery, takes pride in producing Japanese whiskey, and is committed to handcrafting malt whiskey using small mills, mash tuns, Quercus fermenters, and pot stills made by Forsyth in Scotland.

The area around the Chichibu distillery is rich in nature, with clean air, good quality water, high temperatures and humidity in the summer, and cold temperatures that reach below freezing in the morning and evening. The difference in temperature between the two regions has a profound effect on the maturation of the whiskey, resulting in a fruity and well-balanced whiskey despite the short maturation period.

Founded in September 2004.
Chichibu distillery was completed in 2007.
In February 2008, a license to make whiskey was issued and we began making whiskey at the Chichibu distillery.
In October 2019, the second distillery will begin operations.

This distillery was established after Suntory Hakushu Distillery and Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery, which were established in 1973. This distillery was established at the end of the whiskey slump period. The first distillery established in Japan in 35 years. This was the end of the whiskey slump.
The annual whisky production is only two days’ worth of the Glenlivet distillery in Scotland.

The second distillery, which has been in operation since the fall of 2019, has a production volume that is a whopping two times that of the first distillery. 5 times The second distillery, which will be operational in the fall of 2019, will produce a whopping 1.5 times more malt than the first. The pot still is the same shape as the first distillery, but it is much larger so that it can distill five times the amount of malt. It is made by Forsythe. Gas direct-fired distillation machine It is made by Forsythe.

For more information on Chichibu Distillery, please see also.

3. Product name and photo

Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries (DD)

4. Characteristics

A marriage of Hanyu Distillery and Chichibu Distillery, sweet and spicy aroma.
The malt from the Hanyu distillery is mainly from puncheon barrels and “sherry barrels” , while the malt from the Chichibu distillery is from Quercus barrels.

This product is bottled with non-chill filter*1 and natural color to enjoy the character of the original.

*1 Non-chill filter: When whisky is matured in barrels at a low temperature, the dissolved flavor components precipitate out*2 and become cloudy. In order to prevent this from happening, whisky is usually filtered after being cooled down to about 0 to 5 degrees Celsius. The ingredients that precipitate when cooled are either malt-derived or barrel-derived, both of which are considered to be flavor components of whiskey. The fact that the whiskey is not cooled and filtered means that it is bottled with the flavor components of the malt and barrels intact, resulting in a whiskey with a more complex and richer taste.

*2 Precipitation: The separation of crystals or individual components from a liquid substance.

4-1. Tasting Notes

NoseSpicy, dry barley, sweet and sour aroma reminiscent of sherry, oak aroma with vanilla
TasteCinnamon, ginger, green apple, orange, bitter chocolate, buttery smooth texture
AftertasteRefreshing sweetness that changes to a faintly tidal and smoky aftertaste.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content46%
alcohol categoryBlended malt whisky
Cask typeSherry and Quercus barrels
Contents700ml
Number of bottles soldNumber of bottles sold
Suggested retail price6,600 yen (tax included)
Release dateRelease date

5. Awards

2009 WWA (World Whisky Awards) “Best Japanese Blended Malt

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameIchirose Malt Double Distilleries
Volume700ml
Suggested retail price6,000 yen (tax included: 6,600 yen)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is Around 12,000 yen The resale price on Mercari is as follows. (*as of February 23, 2021)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 1,000 yen, Highest bidder: 66,000 yen, Average bidder: 18,676 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days from February 23, 2021)
The lowest price of 1,000 yen was for an empty box, and the highest price of 66,000 yen was for a set of five bottles.

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

The highest price of 66,000 yen was sold as a set of five. Around 14,000 yen It is also sold at (*As of February 23, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

BAR SHINKAI, which is operated by this site, also offers 1 glass, 45ml: 2,310 yen 30ml: 1,540 yen, 15ml: 770 yen We also offer it in small quantities such as

7. Summary

If you add a little water, the citrus aroma and honey-like sweetness will increase, and the refreshing taste will become more pronounced and pleasant to drink.
On the rocks, the spiciness is emphasized and the dryness comes to the fore, but the aftertaste is extended with a hint of sweetness.
When it is mixed with soda, it becomes a highball with a refreshing fruity sourness that is easy to drink at once.

As can be said for the entire Leaf series of Ichiro’s Malt, it is an “extremely difficult to obtain” whisky, and is sold online at a pre-price of two to three times the list price. If you are a fan of Japanese whisky, it is a whisky that you should buy immediately if you find it at a liquor store at a fixed price. If you check liquor stores regularly, you may be able to find it.

Please check out the other articles about Ichiro’s Malt.

Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, we highly recommend these books.

(1).Whisky Galore Vol.29 December 2021 issue

In the December 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, we report on 11 Japanese craft distilleries, including some that are open to the public for the first time, under the title of “Japanese Whisky Craft Frontline,” the first of three consecutive issues. Why did the popularity of Japanese whiskey and the craft boom occur? We will examine with interviews. Chichibu Distillery / Chichibu No.2 Distillery / Mars Shinshu Distillery / Mars Tsunuki Distillery / Kanosuke Distillery / Hioki Distillery / Ontake Distillery / Osuzuyama Distillery / Kaikyo Distillery / Hanyu Distillery / Konosu Distillery

created by Rinker
¥1,320
(2022/10/06 16:58:09時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(2). Japanese Whisky as an Education for Business

This is a book written by Mamoru Tsuchiya, a world-famous whisky critic and representative of the Whisky Culture Research Institute, titled “Japanese Whisky as a Culture that Works for Business” .
The book covers the basics of whisky, the introduction of whisky to Japan, the birth of Japanese whisky, advertising strategies and the rise of Japanese whisky, and the current rise of craft distilleries. This is a book that summarizes Japanese whisky in a very easy to understand way.

(3). Whisky and I (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, devoted his life to brewing whisky in Japan. This is a revised and reprinted version of the autobiography of a man who simply loved whiskey and talked about himself. The book vividly depicts the days when he went to Scotland alone to study as a young man and overcame many hardships to complete Japanese whisky, as well as his companion, Rita.

created by Rinker
¥692
(2022/10/06 11:51:39時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(4). A Letter of Challenge from a New Generation Distillery

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whisky boom, what were the managers of craft distilleries thinking and what were their thoughts as they took on the challenge of making whiskey? This book tells the stories of 13 craft distillery owners, including Ichiro Hido of Venture Whisky, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

created by Rinker
repicbook(リピックブック)株式会社
¥1,870
(2022/10/06 14:07:32時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(5). Whiskey Rising

This is the Japanese version of Whisky Risng, published in the US in 2016, with much updated content. Not only does it describe the history of Japanese whiskey in detail, but it also includes data on all the distilleries in Japan, including the craft distilleries that have been founded in recent years. The book also includes descriptions of the legendary bottles that have been released, as well as information on bars where Japanese whisky can be found.

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