[Review] INAZUMA World Blended Malt Whisky Extra Selected

Nagahama Distillery

“This is the first whiskey collaboration in Japan between Nagahama Distillery and Saburomaru Distillery (Tonami City, Toyama Prefecture), which is run by Wakatsuru Shuzo. Realized through the exchange of malt liquor This is the first collaboration whisky in Japan.
This is the first collaboration of its kind in Japan.

“INAZUMA” has a deep connection with agriculture since ancient times and is said to bring good harvest.

This is a limited edition bottle that utilizes the blending technology developed for the AMAHAGAN series.
The name of the product is derived from the appearance of the Chinese character for “Shigeru” in the name of the prefecture, and the label depicts the nature of Lake Biwa and the “hiyodori”, the symbol of Tonami City, flying there. Also, if you look into Lake Biwa, which is depicted in the center of the label, you can see a large torii gate on the lake behind it.

1. Maker

Nagahama Roman Beer Co.

Establishment1995 (Heisei 7)
Head office14-1 Asahi-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture, 526-0056, Japan
Owned distilleryNagahama distillery

2. Distillery

Nagahama Distillery

Address14-1 Asahi-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture, 526-0056 Japan
Start of operation November 1, 2016 (Heisei 28)

Located in the northern part of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, Japan’s smallest class distillery, Nagahama Distillery is a craft beer brewery and restaurant. Few distilleries, including major whiskey makers, have a restaurant, and it is very rare when it comes to craft whiskey distilleries.

The unique shape of the pot stills installed here reminds us of the very origins of whiskey 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 pot stills for first distillation and one for second distillation, and the heating system is an alambic type pot still shaped like a gourd with indirect steam, a type of pot still often used for distilling brandy. Among Japanese craft distilleries, 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 include changing the malt grinding ratio, changing the fermentation time from 60 hours to 72 hours, and changing the distiller from two to three. Also, the number of distillers was increased from two to three. When the distillery was founded, the first distillation kettle was 1000 liters and the second was 500 liters, but the second kettle was replaced and all three kettles are now 1000 liters. Also, following the example of Scottish distilleries, the distillation equipment is rarely cleaned. We have made many changes in the four years since our establishment.

Reference: Whiskey|Nagahama Roman Beer

For more information on the Nagahama Distillery, see also this article.

3. Product name and photo

INAZUMA World Blended Malt Whisky Extra Selected

4. Characteristics

A blend of unpeated malt from the Nagahama Distillery, peated malt from the Saburoumaru Distillery, and malt from overseas.

The blend recipe is composed of unpeated malt from the Nagahama Distillery, peated malt from the Saburoumaru Distillery, and carefully selected malt from overseas, with the aim of creating an “extra” flavor that complements and enhances each other. We hope that you will enjoy it to your heart’s content.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaSweet and fruity aroma of honey, vanilla, and green apple with a soft smoky aftertaste.
TasteMild sweetness comes to the fore, but gradually changes to malt-derived flavor and bitterness.
AftertasteBitter and complex aftertaste continues.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content47% alcohol by volume
Sake categoryPeated malt from Saburoumaru Distillery
Non-peated malt from Nagahama Distillery
Malt from overseas
Barrel typeBourbon barrels, etc.
Contents700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited to 6,000 bottles
Suggested retail price7,590 yen (6,900 yen without tax)
Release dateMarch 30, 2021

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameINAZUMA World Blended Malt Whisky Extra Selected
Volume700ml
Suggested retail price7,590 yen (excluding tax: 6,900 yen)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is Around 9,500 yen to 12,500 yen The resale price on Mercari is as follows. (*As of May 14, 2021)

6-3. Yahoo auction bidding price

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 6,750 yen, highest bidder: 12,000 yen, average bidder: 9,526 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days as of May 15, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

It is also available at mail order sites for around 12,000 yen. (*As of 5/14/2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “Bar Shinkai”, which is operated by this website, a single glass is available for 2,310 yen (45ml), 1,540 yen (30ml), and 770 yen (15ml).

7. Summary

The peatiness is weaker than I expected. It is a whiskey with a fruity sweetness that is more easily felt in the soft, non-peated malt original of the Nagahama Distillery than in the peated malt of the Sanromaru Distillery. There is a hint of peat, but the peat aroma is so weak and pleasant that even those who don’t like peat can drink it.

Nagahama Distillery will be awarded the 2020 WWA (World Whisky Awards)Amahgan World Malt Edition No.3 Mizunara Wood Finish The Nagahama Distillery is one of the distilleries that are gaining recognition worldwide, with the Nagahama Distillery winning the highest award (Category Winner) in the Japanese Blended Malt Non-Age category at the 2020 WWA (World Whisky Awards).

In June of this year, the Nagahama Distillery will be releasing its first three-year-old Nagahama Singul Malt Single Cask, which is very exciting.

■Please check out the other articles about the Nagahama distillery.

Finally: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

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

(1). Japanese Whiskey 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.

(2). Whisky Galore Vol.25 April 2021

The April 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute.
This issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, features the definition of Japanese whisky and a list of 24 distilleries as the latest in Japanese whisky. It also includes an interview with Suntory Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo, making it a must-have for Japanese whisky fans.

created by Rinker
¥1,320
(2021/07/29 11:50:18時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(3). Whisky 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 whiskey can be found.

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