[Review] YAZUKA World Blended Father

Nagahama Distillery

A collaboration whiskey between Kazuya Yoshii, one of Japan’s leading rock musicians, and Nagahama Distillery.
Kazuya Yoshii’s first encounter with authentic Scottish single malt whisky was at a bar in Scotland that he visited for a photo shoot. He was shocked by the taste of Scotch whisky recommended by a local gentleman, and as he fell in love with the charm of Scotch whisky, “I had a strong desire to make a whisky that reflected my own life someday. Kazuya Yoshii himself was involved in setting the flavor theme, blending, tasting, and barrel selection. This is a world blended whisky, blending malt whisky from Nagahama Distillery with malt whisky and grain whisky from overseas.

The name of the product, “Father,” is the title of a song included in the album “FOUR SEASONS” released by “The Yellow Monkey” with Kazuya Yoshii on vocals and guitar. It was released on August 19, the 50th anniversary of his father’s death.

1. Maker

Nagahama Roman Beer Co.

Established1995 (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 first distillation and one second distillation pot stills, and the heating system is an alambic type pot still shaped like a gourd with indirect steam, which is 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

YAZUKA World Blended Father

4. Characteristics

Blended whisky with additional aging in bourbon barrels and grain whisky in perfect harmony.
The color is a glittering amber. It is gentle on the palate, but still has a gorgeous aroma. Ethereal citrus notes reminiscent of fresh green apples. Caramel, vanilla, and freshly baked orange cake. Oriental spices from the oak, followed by bittersweet bitter chocolate.
An easy drinking whisky that gently blends the sweetness from the bourbon barrels with the clean sweetness of grain whisky.

Image Exhibit: YAZŪKA World Whisky|Nagahama Roman Beer [/caption

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaRefreshing citrus aroma, sweet oak aroma
TasteSavory baked goods, chocolate, vanilla
AftertasteSlightly spicy, with a bitter and slightly bitter aftertaste.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content47% alcohol by volume
alcohol categoryBlended Whisky
Barrel typeAdditional maturation in bourbon barrels
Contents700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited to 6,000 bottles
Suggested retail price8,800 yen (8,000 yen without tax)
Release dateAugust 19, 2021

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product NameYAZŪKA (Yazuka) World Blended Father Ride on AMAHAGAN Selected by Kazuya Yoshii
Volume700ml
Suggested retail price8,800 yen (excluding tax: 8,000 yen)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is for a set of two bottles of World Blended Father and World Malt BEAUTIFUL. Around 21,000 yen to 35,000 yen. (*as of August 20, 2021)

6-3. Yahoo auction bidding price

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction was Lowest bidder: 23,500 yen, highest bidder: 25,500 yen, average bidder: 24,500 yen. (*Statistics for the past 120 days from August 20, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

It is also sold on mail order sites at Around 21,000 yen.(*As of August 20, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “Bar Shinkai”, which is operated by this website, a single glass is available for 2,640 yen (45ml), 1,760 yen (30ml), and 880 yen (15ml).

7. Summary

Kazuya Yoshii’s attention to detail is not limited to blending and tasting, but also extends to aging. Bourbon barrels for “Father” and sherry barrels for “Beautiful” were used for additional aging to match the taste of each song. By carefully maturing the whiskey in the Nagahama distillery’s maturation room while listening to each original sound source in the barrels with pure audio without any mixture, we succeeded in imbuing the taste of the whiskey with the world view of each song even more strongly.
I’m sure there are some people who bought this whisky because they are fans of whisky but don’t know much about it. If the whisky is aged in barrels with the music, the fans will be very happy. Please enjoy this whisky while playing the music and thinking about it.

■Please check out the other articles about Nagahama Distillery.

Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a worldwide 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
¥5,100
(2021/09/24 12:56:01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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