【Review】 Amahagan World Malt Edition No.1

Nagahama Distillery

AMAHAGAN World Malt Edition No.1″, the first blended malt from Nagahama Distillery

AMAHAGAN World Malt Edition No. 1 is the first in a series of blended malts created with a focus on blending, one of the most important steps in whisky making, in preparation for the future release of a single malt. The name “AMAHAGAN” is derived from the Romanization of the word “Nagahama”.

 

1.Manufacturer

Nagahama Roman Beer Co.

Establishment

1995
Head office location14-1 Asahi-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture  〒526-0056
DistilleryNagahama Distillery

2. Distillery

 Nagahama Distillery

Location14-1 Asahi-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture  〒526-0056
Start of operation First November 2016 

Nagahama Distillery, one of the smallest distilleries in Japan, located in the northern part of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, is a craft beer brewery and restaurant. Few distilleries, including major whiskey makers, have a restaurant, and this distillery is a rare example of a craft whiskey distillery.

The unique shape of the pot stills installed here reminds us of the origin of whisky making.
The Nagahama Distillery was originally a rice warehouse from the Edo period, which was renovated and started making beer in 1996. Later, in 2016, equipment for whiskey production was introduced. The building has an atrium, with saccharification tanks and distillers on the first floor, and crushers and fermentation tanks on the second floor.
There are two first distillation units and one second distillation unit, and the heating system is an indirect steam alambic type pot still, which is often used for distilling brandy. The heating method is an indirect steam alambic type pot still, which is often used for brandy distillation. Among all the craft distilleries in Japan, only the Nagahama Distillery currently uses this alambic type pot still. It has the advantage of producing a clearer, softer, and less muddy liquor.

From the time of its founding until now, there has been a lot of trial and error. The major changes were in the malt grinding ratio and the fermentation time, which was originally 60 hours, was changed to 72 hours. Also, the number of distillers was increased from two to three. When the distillery was founded, the first distillation vessel was 1,000 liters and the second distillation vessel was 500 liters, but the second distillation vessel has been replaced and all three distillation vessels are now 1,000 liters. In the four years since its establishment, the distillery has undergone many changes, such as following the example of Scottish distilleries and rarely cleaning the regurgitator.

 

3. Product name and photo

AMAHAGAN World Malt Edition No.1

4. Features

A blend of imported malt whisky, mainly Scottish Highland malt, and malt whisky from the Nagahama Distillery

AMAHAGAN World Malt Edition No.1 is an exquisite blend of Nagahama Distillery’s malts based on overseas malt whisky. It is bottled at a high alcohol content of 47 degrees to make the most of its malty flavor. Please enjoy the taste created by the new challenge of Nagahama Distillery.

4-1.Tasting Note

FragranceRounded malt aroma from the Nagahama malt and sweet vanilla aroma with a horniness
TasteIt is a complex combination of fruity and deepness reminiscent of orange chocolate. The richness of the malt is also evident
AftertasteAfter the full-bodied stimulation, you can feel a gorgeous aftertaste in the nose.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol contents47%
TypeBlended Malt
Barrel type
Contents700ml
Number of Bottles
Suggested Retail Price5,390yen(4,900yen excluding tax)
Release Date4th December 2018

5.Awards

2020 WWA Japanese Blended Malt Bronze Award, Non-Age Category

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameAMAHAGAN World Malt Edition No.1
Contents700ml
Suggested Retail Price5,390yen(4,900yen excluding tax)

6-2. Resale Price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 4,000 yen. (*As of 3/12/2021)

6-3. Yahoo auction bidding price

The lowest bid price on Yahoo Auction was 2,500 yen, the highest was 8,250 yen, and the average was 4,270 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days from 3/12/2021)
The highest price of 8,250 yen is for a set of two bottles.

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

It is also available at mail order sites for around 5,000 yen. (*As of 3/12/2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “Bar Shinkai“, which is operated by this website, we offer a 45ml glass for 1,500 yen, 30ml for 1,000 yen, and 15ml for 500 yen.

7. Summary

Amahagan World Malt Edition No.1 is a whisky that can be enjoyed even by whisky beginners because it is less smoky and has a strong fruity flavor with a full-bodied taste unique to malt.

The Nagahama Distillery started operation in November 2016, and the number of pot stills has been increased from two at the time of establishment to three.
The Nagahama Distillery has been releasing three types of single malts aged for three years (Bourbon Cask, Oloroso Sherry Cask, and Quercus Cask) in May 2020, and is planning to release its first three-year-old heavy peated malt in 2021, which is very exciting.
There is no doubt that the blending techniques of the AMAHAGAN series, which has been released since 2018, will continue to be used to the fullest in the future. This is a distillery that continues to try things that can only be achieved by being a craft distillery, so I think it is a promising distillery to keep an eye on.

 

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