Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky “Taisetsu” (Kateben Jitsugyo, Akkeshi Distillery)

The Facebook page of the Akkeshi Distillery of Ketenen Jitsugyo Corporation has released information about the release of “Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Taisetsu” in early December 2022.

This will be the ninth in the Akkeshi Whisky “Twenty-four solar terms”.
Twenty-four solar terms was introduced from China. The year is divided into 24 equal parts and the seasons are named accordingly, such as Risshun and Geshi.

The price is 19,800 yen, tax included, in limited quantities.

1.What is “Taisetsu” of the Twenty-four solar terms?

Starting with the release of single malt Kanro in October 2020, Akkeshi Distillery has been selling a new product approximately every three months as part of the “Twenty-four solar terms”.

 Release DateNames of the Twenty-four solar terms
First releaseOctober 28, 2020Kanro: around October 8
Second releaseFebruary 28, 2021Usui: around February 19
Third releaseMay 28, 2021Boshu: around June 6
Fourth releaseLate August, 2021Shosho: around August 23
Fifth releaseLate November 2021Ritto: around November 7
Sixth releaseLate February 2022Daikan: around January 20
Seventh releaseLate May, 2022Seimei: around April 5
Eighth releaseLate August, 2022Taisho: around July 23
Ninth release Early December 2022 Taisetsu: around December 7

The ninth installment of this month’s calendar is “Taisetsu”.
“Taisetsu” is the 21st day of the Twenty-four solar terms and is the time when winter is in full swing, when snow begins to fall actively, mountains are covered with snow, and snow falls on the plains, giving the appearance of winter.

December 13 is considered the day of “Susuharai,” which is the root of the “general house cleaning,” and is also called “Shogatsu kotohajime,” since preparations for the New Year began after the Susuharai was done.

It is also around this time that bears and other creatures go into hibernation, and they begin their activities around the time of  Keichitsu in early February. As daylight hours become shorter, people tend to become less energetic. The Toji, the next solar term after the Taisetsu, is the time of the year when daylight hours are the shortest. With the busyness of the year-end season, it is easy to fall ill, so take good care of yourself and prepare for the last spurt at the end of the year.

The Taisetsu in 2022 will be on December 7. It also means about 15 days until the day before the winter solstice (around December 22), the 22nd of the next Twenty-four solar terms.

2. Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Taisetsu

The single malt whiskies in the Twenty-four solar terms were Kanro, Boshu, Ritto, and Seimei, and we could sense the process of evolution in whiskies with unique characteristics.

The composition of the casks used is not yet known, but previously Akkeshi malt matured in Hokkaido Mizunara oak barrels served as the key malt.

The tasting notes from the Akkeshi distillery commented on the citrus-centric nature of the beer. We are looking forward to seeing how the peat unique to Akkeshi is fused with the sourness and sweetness of the fruit.

The information released by the Akkeshi distillery is shown below.

The Homakai River, which passes through the peat layer of the marshland and is rich in nutrients. Its water used for making Akkeshi whisky is so limpid that you can see through it the schools of salmon returning to their hometown. Why not warm up your body and soul with Akkeshi malt and prepare for the long winter ahead?
 

Tasting notes

Happus, tangerine, lemon-like citrus, Darjeeling tea, honey, brown sugar, violet flowers
Orange and tangerine-like sweetness and acidity, soy sauce, herbs, butter bread
White pepper, lime peel, ripe tangerine-like sweetness
 

 

 

 

 

Reference: Facebook page of Akkeshi Distillery

 

Product nameAkkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Taisetsu
SakeSingle Malt Japanese Whisky
IngredientsMalt
Cask TypeCasks
Sales quantityLimited quantity
Degrees of alcohol content55% (with a minimum of 2.5 percent alcohol)
Volume700ml
Price19,800 yen (tax included)
ProducerAkkeshi Distillery

3. Attractiveness of the Akkeshi Distillery

Acquired “Hokkaido HACCP certification” in December 2021.

The distillery was the first craft whisky distillery in Japan to receive external HACCP certification.

We acquired HACCP certification based on our “company philosophy” of always producing safe and secure products through thorough food safety and quality control.

We overcame numerous difficulties and persisted in thorough quality control to obtain the certification in our sixth season of operation. We feel their commitment to Japanese craftsmanship. I have high expectations for further improvement of sake quality.

 

For those who still do not know about Akkeshi Distillery or want to know more about it, please check the distribution of BS Fuji’s Whiskipedia in December 2020, which had a special feature on it.
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 in Akkeshi, and the marriage of whisky and oysters from Akkeshi.

4. “Twenty-four solar terms” of Akkeshi Whisky released in the past

Let’s review the Twenty-Four Season Series released by the Akkeshi Distillery in the past.

4-1. 2020 release

■Akkeshi Single Malt Whisky Kanro (released on October 28, 2020)

4-2. 2021 Release

■Akkeshi Blended Whisky Usui (released on 2/28/2021)

■Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky “Boshu” (released on May 28, 2021)

■Akkeshi Blended Whisky Shosho (released in late August 2021)

created by Rinker
ノーブランド品
¥56,800 (2022/11/30 11:38:51時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)
■Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Ritto (released late November 2021)

4-3. 2022 release

■Akkeshi Blended Whisky Daikan (released late Feb 2022)

■Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Seimei (late May 2022)

■Akkeshi Blended Whisky Taisho (released in late August 2022)

created by Rinker
厚岸
¥25,245 (2022/12/01 02:05:41時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

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
(2022/11/30 17:12:45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
¥1,294
(2022/11/30 14:30:43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
(2022/11/30 19:19:28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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