[Review] THE LAST PIECE

T&T TOYAMA’s first Japanese bottler, “THE LAST PIECE” has been released.

The “Japanese Edition” is a blend of original whisky from five distilleries in Japan, while the “World Edition” is a blend of five distilleries in Japan plus additionally aged Scotch malt in Japan.

The blue one is Japanese Edition and the red one is World Edition.

1. Maker

1-1. Eigashima sake brewery co.

EstablishedMay 1888
Head office location919 Nishijima, Okubo-cho, Akashi-shi, Hyogo 674-0065
Owned distillery

Eigashima Distillery (Former White Oak Distillery)

1-2. Nagahama Roman Beer Co.

Established1995
Head office14-1 Asahi-cho, Nagahama-shi, Shiga 526-0056
Owned distilleryNagahama Distillery

1-3. Sakurao B&D Co.

Establishment 1918
Head Office1-12-1 Sakurao, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 738-8602, Japan
Owned DistillerySakurao Distillery

1-4. Wakatsuru Brewery Co.

Founded 1862
Head office 208, Saburomaru, Tonami, Toyama 939-1308
Owned distillerySaburomaru distillery

1-5. Not open to the public

2. Distillery

2-1.Eigashima Distillery

Location919 Nishijima, Okubo-cho, Akashi-shi, Hyogo 674-0065
Start of operation1919

1891 Shochu cellar “Niban-gura” was completed * Later it became a whisky cellar.
1919 Whisky license obtained and distillery established.
 The local whisky “White Oak” is released in the same year.
1984 New distillery completed.
2007 First single malt whisky “Akashi” 8 years old is released.
2019 Name changed from White Oak Distillery to Eigashima Distillery.
    Two pot stills are replaced with new ones made by Miyake Seisakusho.

2020 Release higher-priced “Eigashima” brand

 

Akashi is made at the White Oak Distillery in Eigashima, Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture.
The distillery is now renamed Eigashima Distillery to make it easier to understand for foreign tourists.

A small fishing village, Eigashima has a pleasant climate throughout the year and benefits from a mild maritime climate right next to the Akashi Strait on the inland sea.
The license to produce whisky and wine was obtained in 1919.
The first whisky distillation in Japan took place at the Yamazaki Distillery in 1923, but it was the Eigashima Distillery (formerly White Oak Distillery) in 1919 that received the first patent for whiskey distillation in Japan.
The year 1919 was when Masataka Taketsuru, the father of Japanese whisky, went to Scotland to study whiskey distilling.
It is surprising that the White Oak distillery existed at an early stage.
However, although a patent was obtained, the correct whisky-making process was not handed down, and it is said that what was being made at the time was imitation whisky that imitated whisky.

Reference: Eigashima distillery official HP

For more information about Eigashima distillery, please visit here.

2-2. Nagahama Distillery

Location14-1 Asahi-cho, Nagahama-shi, Shiga 526-0056
Start of operation November 1, 2016 (Heisei 28)

Nagahama Distillery, one of the smallest distilleries in Japan, located in the northern part of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, is a craft beer brewery and restaurant. There are few distilleries, including major whiskey distilleries, that have their own restaurant, and craft whiskey distilleries are very rare.

The unique shape of the pot stills installed in the distillery reminds us of the very origin of whiskey making.
Nagahama Distillery was originally a rice warehouse from the Edo period (1603-1868), and began making beer in 1996. Later, in 2016, facilities for whiskey production were installed. The building has a vaulted ceiling, with a saccharification tank and distiller on the first floor, and a crusher and fermentation tank on the second floor.
There are two pot stills for first distillation and one for redistillation, and the heating system is an alambic type pot still shaped like an indirect steam gourd, a pot still often used for distilling brandy. Among Japanese craft distilleries, Nagahama Distillery is the only one currently using this alambic type pot still. One of the characteristics of this distillery is that it has the advantage of producing a clear, soft liquor with little miscellaneous taste.

Trial and error has been repeated between the establishment of the distillery and the present. Major changes include a change in the malt crush ratio and a change in the fermentation time, which was initially 60 hours but has now been increased to 72 hours. Also, the number of distillers was increased from two to three. When the distillery was founded, the first distillation vessel had a capacity of 1,000 liters and the redistillation vessel had a capacity of 500 liters, but the redistillation vessel was also replaced, and all three distillation vessels are now 1,000 liters. The redistillation kettles were also replaced and all three distillation kettles were unified into a single 1,000-liter kettle. We have made many changes in the roughly four years since our founding, including the following.

Reference: Whisky|Nagahama Roman Beer

For more information about Nagahama Distillery, please also see this article.

2-3. Sakurao Distillery

sakurao distillery

Location1-12-1, Sakurao 1-chome, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 738-8602, Japan
Start of operation January 2018

Sakurao Brewery and Distillery Co. in Hiroshima Prefecture is a long-established brewery established in 1918.
In fact, it has a deep history of whisky making, and was engaged in the production and sale of malt whisky from 1938 to 1989. At that time, the distilled spirit was stored in a warehouse in Togawachi that utilized a JR West Japan railroad exploratory tunnel.
In 2008, the company began selling Togawachi Whisky,

a blend of the original whisky stored in the Togawachi storage facility and imported original whisky. (90% of the product is exported to Europe.)

In December 2017, as a 100th anniversary project, new equipment was installed to produce high quality single malt whisky and a craft distillery “SAKURAO DISTILLERY” from Hiroshima was built. distillation started in January 2018.

December 2017SAKURAO DISTILLERY is completed.
October 2018SAKURAO DISTILLERY VISITOR CENTER opens
2019SAKURAO DISTILLERY second phase construction (introduction of grain whisky distillation equipment and new whisky storage facility)
March 2021Company name changed to Sakurao Brewery and Distillery Co.
Image Exhibit: SAKURAO DISTILLERY|Hiroshima’s craft distillery for the world[ /caption]

2-4. Saburomaru Distillery

Location 208, Saburomaru, Tonami, Toyama 939-1308
Start of operation 1953 (renovated in 2016)

The only distillery in Hokuriku, established in 1952.
Amidst the postwar rice shortage, the distillery obtained a license to produce whiskey in 1952. Since then, they brew sake in the winter and distill whisky only during the summer. They make 200 bottles of whiskey a year. Plans are underway to make 300 bottles in the future.
Since the beginning, they have been committed to producing smoky whisky, using Islay peated malt and, more recently, peated malt from Toyama Prefecture. To preserve the natural flavor, no cooling filtration or coloring is used.

In 2018, we installed a state-of-the-art mash tun from Miyake Seisakusho.
In 2019, we collaborated with a local company, Oigo Seisakusho, to develop a cast pod still, ZEMON.
In 2020, one wooden vat fermenter is installed.

The main difference from other distilleries is the world’s first cast pod still. “ZEMON” . The distillery uses
There are three major features.
(1) The casting method enables molding and quick delivery. Also, it is possible to add sufficient wall thickness at a low cost, which increases the service life of the main body.
(2) Free molding by the casting method allows for various types of sake quality. Also, by unitizing the parts, it is possible to replace only worn parts or expand the functions.
(3) Made of a copper-tin alloy containing about 90% copper and 8% tin. Tin is a high-grade metal that is traded at about three times the price of copper.
Tin has been used since ancient times mellow the taste of alcohol. It is said to be the most expensive metal in the world, and has been used for sake vessels and shochu coolers. ZEMON contributes to the production of high quality spirits through the dual effects of copper and tin. and tin. It is also used as a cooler for sake and shochu.
Quote: Wakatsuru Shuzo official website

See also ↓ for information on the Sabromaru distillery.

2-5. Not open to the public

3. Product name and photo

3-1. THE LAST PIECE JAPANESE EDITION Batch No. 1

3-2. THE LAST PIECE WORLD EDITION Batch No. 1

4. Features

The world’s first blended malt Japanese whisky made from original whisky aged for more than three years at five craft distilleries in Japan.

Fruity and smoky. The individuality of each distillery is combined like pieces of a puzzle, and while each asserts itself, they are united into one, allowing you to enjoy a complex and rich flavor.

Quote: Japanese Whisky| THE LAST PIECE Japanese Edition Batch No.1

More than half of the composition is made from sake from five Japanese craft distilleries, blended with carefully selected Scotch malts.

The rich individuality of the Japanese craft distilleries is connected by the gorgeous fruity flavor of the matured original distillate and the mellow sweetness and woodiness of the sherry cask original distillate. Thick and mellow flavor.

Reference: Japanese Whisky |THE LAST PIECE World Edition Batch No.1

4-1. Tasting Notes

Product name

THE LAST PIECE Japanese Edition Batch No.1 THE LAST PIECE World Edition Batch No.1
FragranceDry, alcoholic smell that gradually opens up. Citrus, herbal and honey-like aroma. Smoky.

Aromas of nuts, honey, and ripe fruit. Fresh accents of mint and a slight smokiness.

Taste

Malty. Pineapple and other sweetness. Woodiness with some bitterness. Citrus and smoky flavors show up later.

Nutty. Honey, syrup and other sweetness. Sense of maturity. Slight smoky flavor.
AftertasteSmoky and bitter. Malt sweetness and bitterness linger for a long time.The sweetness gradually gives way to mint and other herbs. Peaty and malty.

4-2. Product Specifications

Product name THE LAST PIECE Japanese Edition Batch No.1 THE LAST PIECE World Edition Batch No.1
Alcohol content50%50% 
By SakeBlended Malt Japanese WhiskyBlended Malt Whisky
Content volume700ml700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited edition of 300 bottlesLimited edition of 800 bottles
Suggested retail price22,000 yen (tax included)12,100 yen (including tax)
Release dateApril 19, 2022April 19, 2022

5. Awards received

No awards received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product name

THE LAST PIECE Japanese Edition Batch No.1 THE LAST PIECE World Edition Bacth No.1
Content volume700ml700ml
Suggested retail price22,000 yen (including tax)

12,100 yen (including tax)

6-2. Resale Price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is 56,000 yen for the set of twoand21,000 yenfor the World Edition only. (*As of May 16, 2022)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The lowest bid price on Yahoo! Auctions is 17,500 yen, the highest is 68,000 yen, and the average is 47,300 yen

. (*Statistics for the past 180 days from 5/16/2022)

 

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

We have not been able to confirm any listings on mail-order websites. (*As of May 16, 2022)

6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At BAR Shinkai, which is operated by this site, one glass of Japanese Edition is 45ml: 7,260 yen, 30ml: 4,840 yen, and 15ml: 2,420 yen. The World Edition is available at 45ml: 3,960 yen, 30ml: 2,640 yen, 15ml: 1,320 yen per glass.

7. Summary

The malty and rich Japanese Edition and the nutty and slightly sweet World Edition are probably two different bottles for different tastes.

The Japanese Edition had a strong impression with its strong alcohol smell, pineapple-like sour sweetness, and woodiness, while the World Edition left a lasting impression with its nutty, ripe fruit and honey-inspired sweetness, and a solid feeling of Scotch malt.

According to him, “The undisclosed distillery’s original spirit does a good job. Maybe it’s rather obvious?” The author of this article also has some expectations. The author of this article also has some predictions, but they are not actually revealed as of now. If you have been drinking a lot of whisky, you may be able to identify it.

Finally, a bottler using only Japanese whiskey has been released. One cannot help but notice the development of Japanese whisky. Expectations are high for the further development of Japanese whiskey in the future.

■ Please check out our other articles on Saburomaru Distillery and other distilleries used.

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
(2022/06/27 01:21:38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
¥786
(2022/06/27 04:16:59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
(2022/06/26 05:22:24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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