[World’s Highest Award] Akkeshi Blended Whisky, Blended Malt Asaka (WWA2022)

We recently posted an article on the results of the Japan preliminary round of the World Whiskey Awards 2022. The winning products in each category at that time will then advance to the world round, where the final results will be announced on March 24.

Yesterday, the results of the World Round were announced, and to our surprise, two Japanese whiskey products won the “World’s Best Award” .

 

 

In the Blended Whisky category, “Akkeshi Blended Whisky Shosho”  World’s Best Blended (the world’s best blended whisky), and in the Blended Malt category, “YAMAZAKURA Blended Malt Asaka”  World’s Best Blended Malt (the world ‘sbest malt ) . The company won the award for the world’s best blended malt whisky.

 

(logo image credit: WorldWhiskyAwards)

What is the World Whiskey Awards (WWA)?

The World Whiskey Awards is a global award that recognizes the best of all internationally recognized styles of whiskey. Hosted by TheDrinksReport.com, the world’s #1 online resource for liquor professionals, the World Whiskey Awards selects, recognizes and promotes the world’s best whiskeys to consumers and industry professionals worldwide.

Judging Process

The judging process is divided into two genres, Taste and Design.

Round 1

Each whisky is tasted in its own style to identify and select a style winner. The World Whisky Awards jury includes international journalists, liquor retailers, and industry experts. The first round of judging appears to be conducted in each of the exhibiting countries.

Round 2

The style award winners will be tasted against each other to determine the “best” whisky in each category.

Round 3

The “Best” whisky in each category will be tasted one last time to determine the “World’s Best” whisky. The judges at this stage include the judges from the first and second rounds, as well as leading distillery managers and whisky industry experts.

 

Now, it is time to announce the “World’s Best” whiskies that have won in the very “third round” . Here are the two winning whiskies and the other whiskies that were entered in their respective categories.

Blended Whisky Category

World’s Best Blended Whisky Akkeshi Blended Whisky Shosho

(Image source: WorldWhiskyAward2022 winner )

 

The winner of the world’s best blended whiskey category was Akkeshi Blended Whiskey Shosho, which was released on August 25, 2021 by the Akkeshi Distillery.

This product was released as the fourth in the Akkeshi Whiskey 24 Season Series, and is made mainly from 4-year-old aged whiskey, with a phenol value of 20 ppm, which represents peat, mainly from bourbon casks, and adjusted by using sherry andwine casks in addition to bourbon casks. It is a blended whiskey with a unique taste of Akkeshi.

For more information, please visit the official Word Whisky Award 2022 page.

The Akkeshi Distillery immediately announced the award to its fans and enthusiasts.

 

Akkeshi Blended Whiskey “Akkeshi Blended Whiskey Shosho” released in the summer of 2021 from Akkeshi Distillery, Kenten Jitsugyo Co.
The World Whisky Awards (WWA) 2022, held in the United Kingdom, awarded the world’s top prize in the blended whisky category.
The World Whisky Awards (WWA) is an annual competition, and the judging process is consistently rigorous, with blind tastings conducted without the brand name being revealed.
This year, a record number of 268 producers from around the world entered more than 1,300 wines. The World’s Best Whiskey was selected in 19 categories through a rigorous judging process.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this prestigious award. We will continue our efforts to produce safe, reliable, and delicious whiskey.
Blended Whisky
World’s Best Whisky
Akkeshi Blended Whisky
(Reference: Facebook page of the Akkeshi Distillery)

Other Entries

Other blended whiskies entered from various countries are also introduced here.

There were entries from Scotland, Ireland, and the United States, the home of whiskey, as well as from Australia and South Africa, which have recently become popular.

Blended Malt Division

World’s Best Award Yamazakura Blended Malt Japanese Whisky Sherry Wood Reserve Asaka

(Image credit: WordWhiskyAward2022)

 

The world’s top winner in the blended malt whiskey category was Yamazakura Blended Malt Japanese Whiskey Sherry Wood Reserve Asaka, released on November 9, 2021

from Sasanogawa Brewery’s Asaka distillery.

The reason why it is labeled “blended malt” rather than “single malt” is because it is a blend of the original sake from other distilleries in Japan in addition to the original sake from the Asaka distillery.

After blending, it is aged in sherry cask for about 18 months. The weight and the beautiful sweetness from the sherry are well balanced.

 

The other source of malt used in this distillery is undisclosed, but we can guess that it is probably from a distillery that Sasanogawa Brewery temporarily took custody of the source to save a certain distillery from a crisis.

If so, you can understand that this blended malt is a very precious whisky.

Unfortunately, it seems to be difficult to obtain the award-winning whisky, so here are some whiskies from Asaka Distillery for your reference.

Other Entries

Other blended malt whiskies entered from various countries are introduced below.

In addition to entries from Scotland, Ireland, and the United States, the home of whisky, there were also notable entries from emerging whisky countries such as Australia, France, Germany, and Spain.

Meaning and discussion of this year’s award

In the past World Whisky Awards, there have often been cases in which Japanese whiskies from “Suntory” and “Nikka” have received high acclaim and won awards. Recently, “Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Japanese Blended Whisky Limited Edition 2021” from

Venture Whisky’s Chichibu Distillery won the world’s highest award in the “Blended Whisky Limited Release” category at the WWA2021 for five consecutive years This is a great accomplishment.

 

Following the previous awards for Suntory, Nikka, and Ichiro’s Malt, this year’s award for Craft Distilleries that have operated since 2016 proves that the Japanese whiskey industry has undergone significant changes and that the quality of Japanese whiskey continues to be appreciated as much as ever, as the results show! The company is a member of the “International Association of the Arts” (IAEA).

 

Which distillery will win the World’s Best next year?

It would not be surprising if any distillery were to win the award, as each distillery releases quality whiskey every month. We continue to keep an eye on Japanese whiskey.

It is served at BAR Shinkai.

If you would like to try the two award-winning whiskies, they are available at “BAR Shinkai” in Tokyo.

The prices offered are as follows respectively.

Akkeshi Blended Whiskey Shosho

1 Cup  45 ml: 3,630 yen 30ml: 2,420 yen, 15ml: 1,210 yen

Yamazakura Blended Malt Japanese Whisky Sherry Wood Reserve Asaka

1 glass 45ml: 8,910 yen, 30ml: 5,940 yen, 15ml: 2,970 yen

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
(2022/09/24 13:55:35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
(2022/09/24 13:26:36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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