[Review] Single Malt Komagatake 2021 Edition

The Komagatake Limited Edition has been released every year since 2018.
This time, the number of limited edition is 50,000 bottles, which is very large and may be relatively easy to obtain. Maybe that’s why the word “limited” (limited, special, slight) is gone for this one, and the product is called ” Single Malt Komagatake 2021 Edition”

This product complies with the voluntary standards for Japanese whiskey established by the Japan Western Brewers Association, which came into effect on April 1.

1. Manufacturer

Honbo Shuzo Co.

Establishment 1872
Head office location 3-27, Minamisakae, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, 891-0122, Japan
Owned distilleriesMars Shinshu distillery, Mars Tsunuki distillery

2. distillery

Mars Shinshu distillery

Location 4752-31, Miyata-mura, Kamiina-gun, Nagano 399-4301, Japan
Start of operation 1985

It was in 1949 that Honbo Shuzo, which had been striving to make shochu, a Japanese distilled liquor, in Kagoshima, obtained a license to produce whiskey. Since then, the company has been holding onto the dream of one day producing a genuine whiskey that takes advantage of the Japanese climate.
In 1960, after several years of whisky production in Kagoshima, he established the Mars Yamanashi Winery in Yamanashi, a factory for wine and whisky production. Then, in order to engage in whisky production in earnest, they searched for an even more ideal location.

The natural conditions for whisky production are very severe, including a cold climate with clean air, as well as moderate humidity and good quality water.
After searching for a site that met these conditions, we opened the Mars Shinshu Distillery in 1985 at an altitude of 798 meters at the foot of Mount Komagatake in the Central Alps of Nagano Prefecture, in search of the best environment for whisky production.
In 1992, the distillery stopped distilling due to sluggish demand for whiskey. Later, as Japanese whisky began to be appreciated worldwide, the demand for whisky began to recover in 2009. In September 2020,

the distillery will be completely renovated for the first time in 35 years. The investment will be approximately 1.2 billion yen.
From May 2019, the whisky distillation building (including barrel storage) will be newly constructed for the purpose of renovating aging facilities, building barrel storage facilities with an eye to increasing whisky production, and observing whisky production, and the visitor building will be newly constructed for the purpose of selling original whisky and goods, and existing facilities and equipment will be renovated.
The new whisky distillery building has a total floor area of 1,996 square meters (including a barrel storage room that will hold approximately 2,500 barrels), and the visitor building has a floor area of 746 square meters.
Reference: Honbo Shuzo official website

■Production capacity: 1.1 tons of raw malt per day

■Brewing capacity: approx. 700 liters/day, approx. 185 kl/year (planned for FY2020)
■Major equipment: 1 malt grinding machine, 1 mash tun reuter (saccharification tank) 6KL x 1, stainless steel fermentation tanks 6KL x 3, Douglas fir wooden fermentation tanks (relocated) 6KL x 3, first distillation kettle (relocated)

https://www.hombo.co.jp/company/kura/shinshu.html
Image credit: Mars Shinshu Distillery official website

For more information about Mars Shinshu Distillery, please see here↓

3. Product name and photo

Single Malt Komagatake 2021 Edition

created by Rinker
マルスウィスキー
¥12,500 (2022/01/22 04:09:37時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

4. Characteristics

“Single Malt Komagatake is made at the Mars Shinshu Distillery, located at the foot of Mt. Komagatake in the Central Alps, surrounded by high quality water and rich nature. “The 2021 Edition is a limited edition single malt whiskey bottled in 2021, vatting mainly malt liquor matured in bourbon and sherry barrels.
Enjoy the fruity aroma and the gentle sweetness of ripe persimmons.
Reference: Japanese Whiskey|Single Malt Komagatake 2021 Edition

4-1. Tasting Notes

NoseFresh fruits, plums, estery
TasteSweet and sour citrus fruits, a hint of vanilla
AftertasteMellow aroma characteristic of sherry barrels

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content48% alcohol by volume
ClassificationSingle malt whisky
Barrel typeMainly bourbon and sherry casks
Contents700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited to 50,000 bottles
Suggested retail price8,360 yen (tax included)
Release dateSeptember 17, 2021

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameSingle Malt Komagatake 2021 Edition
Capacity700ml
Suggested retail price8,360 yen (tax included)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 10,000 yen to 12,000 yen. (*As of September 21, 2021)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The lowest bid price on Yahoo Auction is 12,000 yen, the highest is 12,500 yen, and the average is 12,250 yen (*Statistics for the past 180 days since 9/21/2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Mail order sites also sell them for around 11,000 yen.(*As of 9/21/2021)

created by Rinker
¥12,500 (2022/01/22 04:09:37時点 楽天市場調べ-詳細)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At BAR SHINKAI, which is operated by this website, offered for 45ml: 2,970 yen, 30ml: 1,980 yen, 15ml: 990 yen

7. Summary

When drunk straight, the aroma is fruity and gorgeous. The first attack is a little alcoholic, but gradually the mellowness of the sherry cask comes into view.
Rather than the vanilla-like aroma and flavor that is characteristic of bourbon casks, the fruity, sweet, and mellow flavor of sherry casks can be felt more clearly in this whiskey. After a little while, it becomes more rounded, and when a little water is added, it becomes less alcoholic and more gorgeous.

■Please also see other articles about Honbo Shuzo Single Malt Komagatake

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
(2022/01/22 00:55:50時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(2). 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.

(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 whiskey, as well as his companion, Rita.

created by Rinker
¥703
(2022/01/21 15:07:35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 whiskey 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 Whiskey, 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
(2022/01/21 15:17:27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 whiskey can be found.

 

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