[Review] YUZA First Edition 2022

Finally, Yuza Distillery has released “YUZA First edition 2022” .Limited edition of 8,500 bottles.

Masaharu Sasaki, president of Yusa Distillery, says, “If you leave it to experts or veterans, the distillery will be stained with their colors.”  Young staff members start from scratch to create a distillery that is unique to Yuza Distillery.

“YUZA First Edition 2022” was born with the strong conviction to “age until we are satisfied” and “focus on producing only products that meet the definition of Japanese whiskey” . The time of dawn has finally arrived.

1. Manufacturer

Kinryu Corporation

EstablishmentApril 1950
Head office location180-1, Kusakariyaji, Kuroomori, Sakata-shi, Yamagata 998-0111, Japan
Owned distilleryYuza distillery

2. Distillery

Yusa Distillery

Address 20, Kakujida, Yoshiide, Yusa-machi, Akumi-gun, Yamagata 999-8302, Japan
Start of operation 2018

This is the third whiskey distillery in the Tohoku region opened by Kinryu Corporation in Yuza-machi, Yamagata Prefecture in 2018.

Blessed with fresh, clean air and subsoil water from the famous Mt. Chokai, which has been selected as one of the “100 best places for water” Yusa-cho is an ideal place for making whiskey of the highest quality.

The pot still used is made by Forsythe, and there are five fermenters, using Canadian bay pine. The distillery uses Scottish methods for the production and maturation of whiskey, and does not release young whiskey into barrels. Focusing only on single malt production It is a small distillery where mass production is not possible. Because we are a small distillery that cannot mass-produce, we take great care in every detail to produce whiskey of the highest quality with the utmost care.

 

The concept of Yuza distillery whiskey
Concept “TLAS” .

The whiskey made at Yusa Distillery is called,
Tiny 
Lovely 
Authentic
Supreme
The concept of the Yuza distillery is “TLAS” , an acronym for the above.

The Yuza distillery is a very small distillery for a whiskey distillery, with a site area of about 4,550㎡ and a distillery area of about 620㎡. Although it looks small and cute from the outside, the distillery aims to produce whiskey that is authentic and of the highest quality. The whiskey is made using traditional methods, but with a commitment to Japanese “monozukuri” (craftsmanship) that is unique in the world.

Quoted from Yuza’s official website

For more information on the Yuza distillery, see also this article.

3. Product name and photo

YUZA First edition 2022

4. Characteristics

Carefully selected from raw materials casked between November 2018 and January of the following year, when the distillery had just started operations, the cask strength was chosen to allow the full flavor of the cask release to be enjoyed. Only bourbon barrels are used for aging. Enjoy the gorgeous and fruity aroma and taste to your heart’s content.

Reference: Yuza Distillery Product Introduction Page

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaSweet and gorgeous aroma of honey, vanilla, and apricot. Nuts and almonds.
TasteLight to medium bodied with a smooth texture and a fruity sweetness on the palate.
AftertasteSome alcohol tingling and maltiness.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content61%
alcohol categorySingle malt Japanese whiskey
Barrel typeBourbon barrels
Contents700ml
Number of bottles sold8,500 bottles
Suggested retail price16,500 yen (tax included)
Release dateFebruary 2022

5. Awards received

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

 

Product nameYUZA First edition
Volume700ml
Suggested retail priceTax included: 16,500 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale price on Mercari is Around 34,800 yen to 38,000 yen It is a small distillery that cannot mass produce. (As of February 24, 2022)

 

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

Sold price at Yahoo Auction is a Lowest bidder: 32,500 yen, Highest bidder: 35,000 yen, Average bidder: 33,600 yen.

(*Statistics for the past 180 days from February 24, 2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

We have not been able to confirm any listings on mail order sites. (As of February 24, 2022)

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

At BAR SHINKAI, which is operated by this website, we offer 1 glass, 45ml: 5,610 yen, 30ml: 3,740 yen, 15ml: 1,870 yen (as of February 24, 2022) is available at.

7. Summary

You can’t help but feel the youthfulness of the original wine, but for the cask strength alcohol content, it is not tense and has a smooth texture. The sweet aroma of nuts, almonds, vanilla, and honey flows smoothly into the mouth, stimulating the tongue with a tingling yet fruity taste. You can feel some youth and cask strength. The tingling is loose and lingers with the malt flavor.

When water is added, the fruity aroma becomes even stronger and the sweetness of the bourbon barrels peeks through. The alcohol and youthfulness of the beer are hidden.

The impression changes dramatically between straight and watered down, so you can enjoy it twice in one sitting.

This is the quality of the first release. I can strongly feel the Yuza distillery’s commitment to this product.

Long-term maturation, bottling with water, and a single cask, which they are planning to produce in the future. Expectations for the Yuza distillery are only growing in the future. I can’t take my eyes off the whiskey that the Yuza distillery will continue to produce.

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

(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.

(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.

(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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