[Review] Single Malt Komagatake VOYAGER ESTATE wine cask finish bottled in 2021

A single malt whiskey made from malt distilled at Mars Shinshu Distillery, matured in bourbon barrels for more than 3 years, and then aged for more than 1 year in empty red wine casks brewed at Voyager Estate, a winery in Western Australia. Limited edition of 950 bottles.

1. Manufacturer

Hombo 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 in 1985

It was in 1949 that Hombo 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: Hombo Shuzo official website

■Production capacity: 1.1 tons of raw malt/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↓

Voyager Estate

LocationStevens Road, Margaret River, Western Australia 6285
Start of operations

1978

Voyager Estate is a family owned and operated winery with vineyards in the Stephen Valley, Margaret River, Western Australia. It was established by farmer and regional pioneer Michael Wright, who saw the potential of the Stevens Valley to produce world class wines due to the influence of the ocean and the climate. The current business owner is Michael’s daughter, Alexandra Bird. The entire process from growing to bottling is done at the winery.

In addition to winery tours, Voyager Estate offers expert-led tastings, a store, and a restaurant.

Image exhibit : Voyager Estate official website

 

3. Product name and photo

Single Malt Komagatake VOYAGER ESTATE wine cask finish bottled in 2021

4. Features

A special single malt whisky made from malt distilled at the Mars Shinshu distillery and matured in bourbon barrels for at least three years, and then matured (finished) for at least one additional year in empty red wine barrels from Voyager Estate, a winery that produces high quality wines in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. This is a special single malt whiskey. It has an attractive pale rose color, a harmonious blend of fruity aromas of grapes and pomegranates, a smooth mouthfeel, and a fruity taste that balances flavor and sweetness with a pleasant lingering finish.
Reference: Japanese Whiskey|Single Malt Komagatake Voyager Estate Wine Cask Finish Bottled in 2021

4-1. Tasting Notes

NoseFruity with grapes and pomegranate
TasteSmooth mouthfeel with a hint of fruitiness
AftertasteBalance of deliciousness and sweetness

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content48% alcohol by volume
alcohol categorySingle malt whisky
Barrel typeBourbon barrels, Voyager Estate red wine barrels
Contents700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited to 950 bottles
Suggested retail price11,220 yen (tax included)
Release dateDecember 2021

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

 

 

 

Product nameSingle Malt Komagatake Voyager Estate Wine Cask Finish Bottled in 2021
Volume700ml
Suggested retail price11,220 yen (tax included)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

There is currently no listing on Mercari. (*As of January 7, 2022)

 

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

The lowestbid price on Yahoo Auction was 34,000 yen, the highest was 47,000 yen, and the average was 40,500 yen

(*Statistics for the past 180 days from January 7, 2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

There are currently no listings on mail order sites. (*As of January 7, 2022)

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

At BAR SHINKAI, which is operated by this website, a singleglass is offered for 45ml: 3,300 yen, 30ml: 2,200 yen, 15ml: 1,100 yen

7. Summary

The aroma of various fruits and malt create a characteristic sweet scent.

It is quite dark and has the flavor of Voyager Estate red wine barrels. The sweetness of the malt and the sweetness of the bourbon barrels also combine to create a fruity and full-bodied sweetness.

When a small amount of water is added, the wine aroma opens up and shows a different face.

There are only a few bottles of this whiskey available, and since it is mainly exported overseas, it is quite difficult to purchase, but it is a whiskey with a very interesting flavor, so if you have a chance to try it, please do.

■Please also check out 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
(2022/09/25 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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