[Review] Akkeshi Blended Whiskey Taisho

Akkeshi Blended Whisky Taisho, the eighth in the Akkeshi Whisky “Twenty-Four Season Series,” has been released. Finally, one third of the release has been completed.

It has been three months since the last single malt whisky Seimei was released.

Part 1 Single Malt Whiskey KANROReleased on October 28, 2020
Second release Blended Whiskey AmemizuLaunched on February 28, 2021
Third release Single Malt Japanese Whiskey GlauberLaunched on May 28, 2021
The fourth release Blended Whisky SummerTo be released on August 25, 2021
5th release Single Malt Japanese Whisky Rissho-WinterLaunched on November 25, 2021
Sixth release Blended Whisky Great ColdLaunched on February 25, 2022
Seventh releaseSingle Malt Japanese Whiskey SeimeiLaunched on May 30, 2022
Eighth release Blended Whisky Great Heat Launched on August 26, 2022

This Twenty-Four Season series will be released alternately as single malt and blended, and this time it will be released as blended.
The 24 Seasonal Seasons are the seasons of the year divided into 24 equal parts and given names, such as “Risshun” and “Geshi” which we often hear about.

 

The “Great Summer Heat” is the 12th day of the 24 solar terms, and the period from the summer solstice to Risshaku

around August 8, which is the hottest season in the year. During this period, many festivals and fireworks displays are held in various regions, and many summer events are held in the area.

The label design is indigo blue, which is reminiscent of yukata (summer kimono).

Image Exhibit: Akkeshi Distillery Official Facebook

1. Manufacturer.

Kenken Jitsugyo Co.

Established1982
Head office address 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, Akkeshi-gun, Hokkaido 088-1124, Japan
Start of operation October 2016

2015 Started construction of distillery
2016 Distillation begins in October
2017 Second maturation warehouse completed.
2018 February First product release as Akkeshi distillery. Third maturation warehouse completed.
2020 February: First single malt whisky released.
   April: Completion of the 4th cellar.

  October: First release of the 24 Season series.
2021: Construction of a new barley milling building (operation to begin in 2022)

 

Deep fog with tidal air, clear air, and abundant peat. Believing that the climate of Akkeshi in Hokkaido will create the unknown Japanese whiskey flavor we seek, we started distilling in 2016.
As in the whiskey making process on the island of Islay, water that has passed through the peat layer is used as the brewing water, and the whiskey is matured daily in Akkeshi, a cool, humid, and sea-breezy place.
The area around Akkeshi is rich in deposits of peat, which is essential for flavoring whisky, and the varied topography of the sea, mountains, and marshes allows for different flavors to be expected at each location where the peat is collected.

With a strong desire to “make whiskey like Islay malt using traditional Scottish methods,” equipment was installed by Forsyth’s of Scotland. All construction was carried out by Forsyth’s craftsmen visiting Japan. The pot stills are straight-headed and onion-shaped, similar to those at some distilleries on Islay. Heating is by radiator system, the attached condenser is a shell-and-tube type, and the mash tun is a semi-reuter type.
The fermentation tank (washback) is stainless steel, and the temperature is purposely not adjustable. The craftsman determines the timing of fermentation while letting nature take its course.

In addition to the two dunnage-type distilleries, an innovative rack-type third distillery was completed in February 2018, right next to Akkeshi Bay, and a fourth rack-type distillery was completed in April 2020 on a hill overlooking Akkeshi Bay. The scent of the sea in the air is expected to have a positive effect on the characteristics of the whiskey.

In addition to bourbon and sherry, we use hard-to-find ” Mizunara ” oak barrels for aging. In addition, we are challenging every possibility, such as matching with wine and rum casks.
In addition, barley, the raw material for whiskey, is grown in Akkeshi, and everything, including peat and wooden casks for aging, is produced in Akkeshi, aiming for “Akkeshi All-Star” whiskey production in the future. In August 2021, a new initiative has been started to experimentally distill the original whiskey distilled at the Akkeshi distillery. Maturing in Furano The new initiative is to test distill the original whiskey distilled at the Akkeshi distillery. What kind of changes will be brought about by the sake matured in Furano? This is exactly what terroir is all about, taking advantage of the great individuality of not only the local Akkeshi distillery, but also of “Hokkaido. The idea of “terroir”, which wine connoisseurs have probably heard a lot about, is incorporated into whiskey, and the fusion of “the individuality of Akkeshi” and “the individuality of Hokkaido” and the whiskey production that makes use of the terroir of these lands is fascinating and the expectations are infinite.

Lake Akkeshi and Bessanbeef Marsh in the vicinity of Akkeshi Town are registered wetlands under the Ramsar Convention. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, adopted in Ramsar, Iran, on February 2, 1971, aims to conserve and make wise use of wetlands as habitats for waterfowl and other wildlife under international cooperation.
We, too, aim to be a distillery that protects and coexists with this rich natural environment.
The tap water used for whiskey is taken from the Homakai River upstream of the Ohoro River, which runs near the distillery. The surrounding area is a marshland and a habitat for baikamo ducks, which are said to live only in clear water. The small white flowers that bloom in summer are a symbol of the abundant water. This water nurtures the whisky of Akkeshi.

Reference: Akkeshi Distillery official website

For more information on the Akkeshi Distillery, please see also here↓.

3. product name and photo

Akkeshi Blended Whisky “Taisho”

Akkeshi Blended Whisky Taisho

created by Rinker
¥28,800 (2022/09/24 23:02:54時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

4. features

The key malt is “all Hokkaido’s original Mizunara oak barrels.

The key malt is all Mizunara oak from Hokkaido.
The flavor has a clear and distinct profile. The malts and grains of Akkeshi Malt and Grain are well harmonized and well put together.

The slightly smoky peat is like incense. It is characterized by a slightly strong and dry taste. With peat and sweetness, which are the characteristics of Akkeshi whiskey, as the core, citrus acidity such as grapefruit and orange, sweetness of honey and chocolate, and cookie-like savory taste continue, and then turn into spicy aftertaste such as white pepper.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaIncense, cookies, fresh fruits
TasteDry impression to lactic acidic richness, honey, chocolate sweetness, nutmeg, saltiness
AftertasteSpicy and sweet, with a hint of peat passing through the nose.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content48% (with a slight alcohol content of 48%)
by alcoholBlended Whiskey
Cask type

Quercus serrata casks, bourbon casks, etc.

Volume700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited to 10,000 bottles
Suggested retail price13,200 yen (tax included)
Release dateAugust 26, 2022

5. Awards received

No awards received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product name

Akkeshi Blended Whiskey Taisho

Volume700ml
Suggested retail priceTax included: 13,200 yen

6-2. Resale Price on Mercari

Resale prices on Mercari are around27,000 yen to 29,800 yen. (*As of 9/1/2022)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auctions

The lowestbid price on Yahoo! Auction was 26,000 yen, the highest 38,500 yen, and the average 31,473 yen.

(*Statistics for the past 180 days from 9/1/2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

The price is around42,000yen at mail-order sites. (*As of 9/1/2022)

created by Rinker
¥28,800 (2022/09/24 23:02:54時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At BAR Shinkai, which is operated by this site, onecup, 45 ml: 3,960 yen 30 ml: 2,640 yen, 15 ml: 1,320 yen, etc. are offered in small quantities.

7. Summary

The blends released so far have been “Rain Water”, “Dosetsu”, and “Daichan”.

The “Dosetsu” was awarded the world’s highest prize in the blended category at the “World Whisky Awards (WWA) 2022” and was a unique whisky reminiscent of a single malt.

This time, “Great Heat” has a more pronounced impression of quercus, with a lactic acidic richness, fruit acidity, bitter sweetness, and a lingering peaty finish.

 

It is released about every three months, so the next release will probably be around the end of November. We expect it to be either “frostfall” or “light snow,” but it will be fun to wait and see what the name of the next release will be.

 

If you want to know more about the Akkeshi Distillery, please check out BS Fuji’s Whiskipedia in December 2020, which had a special feature on the distillery.
The program is not only about the appeal of Akkeshi whisky, but also about the nature of Akkeshi-cho, the fishing industry centering on oyster fishing, and the marriage of whisky and oysters from Akkeshi.

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

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
(2022/09/25 13:28:40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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