[Review] Akkeshi Blended Whisky DAIKAN

Akkeshi Blended Whisky Daikan, the sixth release in the Akkeshi Whisky “24 Season Series” .

This is the first release in three months since the last single malt Japanese whisky Ritto was released.

Part 1 Single Malt Whisky KanroOctober 28, 2020 release
Second releaseBlended Whisky UsuiFebruary 28, 2021 release
Third releaseSingle Malt Japanese Whisky Boushu May 28, 2021 release
Part 4Blended Whisky ShoshoAugust 25, 2021 release
Part 5Single Malt Japanese Whisky RittoNovember 25, 2021 release
Part 6 Blended Whisky DaikanFebruary 25, 2022 release

This 24-season series will be released in alternating single malt and blended versions, and this time it will be a blended release.
The year is divided into 24 equal parts, and the seasons are named after them.

 

Daikan is the 24th day of the 24 seasonal divisions (the last of the 24 seasons), and is said to be the coldest time of the year. It is said to be the coldest time of the year, and the lowest temperature of the year is often recorded during this period.

It is believed that by training during this cold season, one can improve both physically and mentally. This is also the time of year to send out seasonal letters such as “Kanchu-mimai”.
The Daikan of 2022 is January 20. It also refers to the 15 days or so from January 20 to February 3, the first day of the next 24 solar terms, Risshun.


The package and label design of the previous “Risshun” was colorful, but this one has returned to a calm and austere design. The design is based on the motif of “Ke-arashi,” the steam fog of Atsugishi Bay. It’s a design that conveys the cold.
The key malt of this work is “All Hokkaido Mizunara (Quercus mongolica) Barrel Wine” . It is a blend of that key malt and unaged New Pot imported grain aged for more than three years in the Akkeshi region.

Image exhibit: Atsugishi Distillery Official Facebook

1. Maker

Kenten Jitsugyo Co.

Establishment1982
Headquarters location Imperial Hotel Tokyo, 1-1-1 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0011, Japan
Owned distilleryAkkeshi distillery

2. Distillery

Akkeshi Distillery

Address109-2, Miyazono 4-chome, Akkeshi-cho, Ak-gun, Hokkaido 088-1124, Japan
Start of operation October, 2016

2015  Start construction of the distillery
2016  Started distilling in October
2017  Completion of the second aging room.
2018  First product release as Akkeshi distillery in February. Third maturation cellar completed.
2020  Release of the first single malt whisky in February.
        April  Completion of the fourth maturation cellar.

     October The first release of the 24 Season Series.

Deep fog with tidal air, clean air, and abundant peat. We began distilling in 2016, believing that the climate of Akkeshi, Hokkaido, would create the unknown flavors of Japanese whiskey that we were seeking.
Just like the whisky making process on the island of Islay, we use water that passes through a layer of peat for the brewing water, and the whisky is matured day by day in the cool, humid, and sea breezes of Akkeshi.
The area around Akkeshi is rich in peat, which is essential for the flavoring of whiskey, and the varied topography of the sea, mountains, and marshland means that different flavors can be expected from each location where the peat is collected.

With a strong desire to produce whisky like Islay malt using traditional Scottish methods, we installed equipment made by Forsythe in Scotland. Forsythe’s craftsmen came to Japan to carry out all the work. The shape of the pot still is a straight-headed onion shape, similar to those of some distilleries in Islay. Heating is by a radiator system, the attached condenser is a shell and tube type and the mash tun is a semi-loiter type.
The fermentation tank (washback) is stainless steel, and we dare not adjust the temperature. The craftsman determines the timing of fermentation while letting nature take its course.

In addition to the two dunnage-type maturation chambers, an innovative rack-type third maturation chamber was completed in February 2018 right next to Akkeshi Bay, and a rack-type fourth maturation chamber will be completed on a hill overlooking Akkeshi Bay in April 2020. The aroma of the sea wafting through the air is expected to have a positive effect on the characteristics of the whisky.

In addition to bourbon and sherry, difficult-to-obtain “mizunara” oak is used for maturing barrels. In addition to bourbon and sherry, we also use hard-to-find “mizunara” oak barrels.
In addition, barley, the raw material for whiskey, is grown in Akkeshi, and all the barley, including peat and wooden barrels for aging, is produced in Akkeshi. As a new initiative, in August 2021, we will start a trial production of the original whiskey distilled at the Akkeshi Distillery. Maturing in Furano In August 2021, a new initiative was launched to test distilled spirits from the Akkeshi distillery. What kind of changes will be brought about by the undiluted whiskey matured in Furano? This is exactly the kind of terroir that takes advantage of not only the local Akkeshi but also the great character of Hokkaido. The idea of “terroir” which wine connoisseurs have probably heard a lot about, has been incorporated into whiskey, and the fusion of the “character of Akkeshi” and the “character of Hokkaido” to create whiskey that takes advantage of the terroir of the land is fascinating, and the expectations are endless.

Lake Akkeshi and Bessanbeigi Marsh around Akkeshi Town are registered wetlands under the Ramsar Convention. The Ramsar Convention is a treaty on wetlands adopted in Ramsar, Iran on February 2, 1971, which aims to conserve and wisely use wetlands as habitats for waterfowl and other wildlife under international cooperation.
We aim to be a distillery that protects and coexists with this rich nature.
The intake for the drinking water used for whiskey is the Homakai River upstream of the Ohoro River, which runs near the distillery. The area around the distillery is a marshland and a habitat for the baikamo, which is said to live only in clear streams. The small white flowers that bloom in the summer season are a symbol of the rich water. This water nurtures the whiskey of the Akkeshi region.

Reference: Akkeshi Distillery official website

See also this ↓ for more information on the Akkeshi Distillery.

3. Product name and photo

Akkeshi Blended Whisky DAIKAN

Atsugishi Distillery Single Malt Tachifuyu 55°700ML

Atsugishi Distillery Single Malt Tachifuyu 55°700ML

¥45,800(as of 09/30 22:32)
Amazon product information

4. Characteristics

The key malt is “all Hokkaido-grown Quercus mongolica var” .
This time, the distillery was changed from the one used in the previous “Shosho” and “Usui” .
The choice was made to add “weight” to the Akkeshi malt, and the grain was blended to further bring out the characteristics of the Akkeshi malt.
The blend of malts is mainly key malt (Quercus serrata barrels), with a slightly lesser amount of bourbon barrels, and sherry and wine barrels to add sweetness and flavors.
The modest peat and the sweetness of the Akkeshi malt are in perfect harmony.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaOrange tea, brown sugar, strawberry, lemon
TasteCitrus sourness and sweetness, sea salt
AftertasteWhite pepper, cocoa bitters and chocolate-like sweetness

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol Content48%
by alcoholblended whisky
Barrel type

Malt: Bourbon, Quercus, Sherry, Wine barrels

Grain: Bourbon barrels

Contents700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited to 10,000 bottles
Suggested retail price13,200 yen (tax included)
Release dateFebruary 25, 2022

5. Awards

There is no award history at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameAkkeshi Blended Whisky Daikan
Capacity700ml
Suggested retail priceTax included: 13,200 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 34,980 yen to 42,000 yen. (*As of March 1, 2022)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 35,000 yen, highest bidder: 50,000 yen, average bidder: 39,315 yen.

(*Statistics for the past 180 days since March 1, 2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Currently there seems to be no sales on mail order sites (*as of 2022/3/1)

Atsugishi Distillery Single Malt Tachifuyu 55°700ML

Atsugishi Distillery Single Malt Tachifuyu 55°700ML

¥45,800(as of 09/30 22:32)
Amazon product information

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At BAR Shinkai, which is run by this website, we offer even small quantities of oneglass, 45ml: 3,960 yen 30ml: 2,640 yen, 15ml: 1,320 yen. 

7. Summary

The next release will probably be around the end of May. If so, the naming will be “Kokuu” (穀雨), “Rikka” (立夏) or “Shoman” (小満). Next time, it will be single malt whisky. In terms of the 24 seasons, it will be summer, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it will taste.

 

If you want to know more about the Akkeshi Distillery, please check out the feature on BS Fuji’s Whiskipedia in December 2020.
The program is not only about the charm of Akkeshi whiskey, but also about the nature of Akkeshi town, the fishery centering on oyster fishing, and the marriage of whiskey and oysters from Akkeshi.

Please also check out other articles about “Akkeshi Distillery and Akkeshi Whisky.

Atsugishi Blended Whiskey: Shoketsu

Atsugishi Blended Whiskey: Shoketsu

¥66,000(as of 10/01 07:17)
Amazon product information
Atsugishi Distillery Single Malt 芒 55° 700ML

Atsugishi Distillery Single Malt 芒 55° 700ML

¥78,500(as of 10/01 07:17)
Amazon product information

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
(2022/09/30 15:57:23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
¥825
(2022/09/30 11:34:57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
(2022/09/30 13:34:27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 whisky can be found.

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