[Review] INAZUMA Extra Selected Edition No.2

This is a collaboration whiskey by Nagahama Distillery and Eigashima Distillery (Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture).Realized by exchanging malt liquor This is a collaboration whisky made by Nagahama Distillery and Eigashima Distillery (Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture). In Scotland, there has been an active exchange of raw whisky since ancient times, and many unique blended whiskies have been born.

INAZUMA” has been associated with farming since ancient times and is said to bring a good harvest.
The name of the product is derived from the appearance of the kanji character for “Shigeru” in the name of the prefecture, and the label depicts the nature of Lake Biwa and the stork, the symbol of Hyogo Prefecture, flying over the lake. If you look at the Lake Biwa in the center, you can see the bright white walls of the Eigashima distillery 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)

The Nagahama Distillery, one of the smallest distilleries in Japan, is located in the northern part of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture and houses a craft beer brewery and a restaurant. Not many distilleries, including major whiskey makers, have a restaurant, and craft whiskey distilleries are very rare.

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, but 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. 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 Extra Selected Edition No.2

4. Characteristics

A blend of unpeated malt from Nagahama Distillery, lightly peated malt from Eigashima Distillery, and malt from overseas

Image Exhibit: INAZUMA Extra Selected Edition No.2Hime-S|Whiskey,Nagahama Distillery

The aroma is fresh and fruity, reminiscent of grapefruit, with refreshing accents of herbs and mint. The peaty aroma is reminiscent of the sea air at the beach. The mouthfeel is very smooth, with ripe red apple, dried fruit, and berry accents behind the fresh orange. Pleasant tannins from the oak. The finish is long, with soft peaty notes that waver and then fade away.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaOrange, grapefruit, soft peaty aroma
TasteRefreshing acidity of citrus fruits, herbaceous freshness, smoky
AftertasteFirm oaky aroma mixed with a very slight peatiness, with a long lingering finish

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content47% alcohol by volume
By alcohol

・Non-peated malt from Nagahama Distillery
・Lightly peated malt from Eigashima Distillery
・Unpeated malt from overseas

Barrel type
Contents700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited to 6,000 bottles
Suggested retail price7,590 yen (6,900 yen without tax)
Release dateNovember 9, 2021

5. Awards

There is no award history at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameINAZUMA EXTRA SELECTED EDITION No.2
Capacity700ml
Suggested retail price7,590 yen (excluding tax: 6,900 yen)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 8,700 yen to 11,000 yen. (*As of November 24, 2021)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The lowestbid price on Yahoo Auction is 9,500 yen, the highest is 9,500 yen, and the average is 9,500 yen(*Statistics for the past 180 days since November 24, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Mail order sites also sell them for around 10,000 yen. (*As of November 24, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR SHINKAI”, which is operated by this website, a single drink is available at 45ml: 2,310 yen, 30ml: 1,540 yen, 15ml: 770 yen.

7. Summary

The first batch of INAZU with the Sabromaru Distillery was unexpectedly less peaty, and the whiskey had a fruity sweetness that made it easier to feel the soft, non-peated malt of the Nagahama Distillery than the peated malt of the Sabromaru Distillery.
This new whiskey has a fuller and tastier flavor with a strong taste profile and barrel aroma, and it is a bit heavier and more drinkable than the previous whiskey.
The Nagahama distillery is actively crowdfunding for the “whiskey blending experience” and is making efforts to promote whiskey. We can’t take our eyes off their future activities.

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 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
(2022/09/25 13:57:54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
¥1,051
(2022/09/25 11:13:35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 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
(2022/09/25 13:28:40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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