【Review】 Single Malt Japanese Whisky Sakurao

Ltd. (SAKURAO B&D) (formerly known as Chugoku Brewery Co., Ltd.), famous for its SAKURAO GIN, launched a project in 2015 to build a new distillery as a 100th anniversary project.

SAKURAO DISTILLERY was born in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture, known as the town of Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage Site, and began operation in January 2018.


In July 2021, the 1st Release Cask Strength of Single Malt Japanese Whisky SAKURAO and Single Malt Japanese Whisky TOGAUCHI are launched.

About a year later, the single malt was released in a watered-down version with an alcohol content of 43%.

 

Although the limited number is not certain, it is likely to be shipped to restaurants, hotels, bars, and other commercial outlets, as well as to a reasonable number of retail outlets for general consumers.

1. Manufacturer.

Sakurao Brewery and Distillery Co.

Founded 1918
Head Office Location1-12-1 Sakurao, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 738-8602, Japan
Owned DistillerySakurao Distillery

2. distillery

SAKURAO DISTILLERY

Address1-12-1, Sakurao 1-chome, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture, 738-8602
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 Togouchi that utilized a JR West Japan railroad exploratory tunnel.
In 2008, the company began selling Togouchi Whisky,

a blend of the original whisky stored in the Togouchi 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 constructed. 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].

3. product name and photo

Single Malt Japanese Whisky Sakurao
Single Malt Japanese Whisky Sakurao

4. characteristics

Aroma of mild Setouchi tides, woody and pleasant smoky flavor

The distillate is aged for more than 3 years at the Sakurao distillery.
The distillery is located on the ocean side, and the barrels have a subtle aroma of the Seto Inland Sea. The environment has a large difference in temperature throughout the year, so the aging process proceeds quickly.

It has a long-lasting woody aroma and a subtle peaty flavor. The taste is complex and deep, with a rich sweetness and a slight bitterness.

Image Exhibit: SINGLE MALT JAPANESE WHISKY Sakurao & Togouchi

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaFresh citrus, vanilla, and gentle peat aroma
TasteMilky sweetness with a hint of peat, and a bitterness that brings out the best in the overall taste.
AftertasteWoody, sweet, and bitter.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content43% alcohol by volume
DistillateSingle malt Japanese whisky
Cask typeCask type
Volume700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited quantity
Suggested retail price6,600 yen (tax included)
Release date June 6, 2022

5. awards received

No awards received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product name Single Malt Japanese Whisky Sakurao
Capacity700ml
Suggested retail price6,600 yen (tax included)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale prices on Mercari are around 15,500 yen to 17,800 yen

. (*As of 2022/76/17)

 

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The lowestbid price on Yahoo Auction was 8,000 yen, the highest was 20,000 yen, and the average was 15,027 yen

for the set with single malt Togouchi released at the same time (*Statistics for the past 180 days from 6/17/2022).

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

The product does not appear to be currently available on any of these retail sites. (*As of 6/17/2022)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, it is offered in small quantities such as 1 cup, 45 ml: 1,980 yen 30 ml: 1,320 yen, 15 ml: 660 yen,

etc.

7. Summary

Compared to the cask strength version released last year, the flavor seems much milder. The taste is easy to drink and favorable for whisky beginners.

 

The Sakurao aging cellar is located by the sea. This whisky has an impressive salty taste reminiscent of the sea. This Sakurao distillery has already started producing grain whisky, and in a few years, a three-year aged grain whisky will be ready. The distillery is also increasing its production of malt whisky, and seems to be producing a variety of malt whisky. I think they are one of the top class distilleries in terms of production volume among domestic craft distilleries.

I have high expectations for their future releases.

Please check out the other articles on ■Sakurao Distillery.

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
(2022/08/15 23:08:11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
¥1,849
(2022/08/15 08:24:53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
(2022/08/15 10:37:30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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