[Review] Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Seimei

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Akkeshi Distillery

“Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Seimei,” the seventhin the Akkeshi Whisky “Twenty-Four Solar Terms “.

This is the first release in about three months since the last blended whisky Daikan was released.

The first release Single Malt Whisky KanroReleased on October 28, 2020
The second release Blended Whisky UsuiReleased on February 28, 2021
The third release Single Malt Japanese Whisky BoushuReleased on May 28, 2021
The fourth release Blended Whisky ShoshoReleased on August 25, 2021
The fifth release Single Malt Japanese Whisky RittoReleased on November 25, 2021
The sixth release Blended Whisky DaikanReleased on February 25, 2022
The seventh release Single malt Japanese whisky SeimeiReleased on May 30, 2022

This Twenty-Four solar terms series will alternate between single malt and blended releases, and this time it will be a single malt release.
The “Twenty-Four solar terms” are the seasons of the year divided into 24 equal parts and given names, such as “Risshun” and “Geshi,” which we often hear about.

“Seimei” is the fifth of the 24 solar terms and is said to be “the time when all things are pure, bright, and beautiful,” and falls from April 5 to around April 19. It is the season when flowers and grass come alive and we feel the breath of spring. This is the season when a new environment begins, so it is the season to use a lot of energy.

Seimei’s 72 solar terms (one of a system of indicating the seasons devised in ancient China. The 72 solar terms are divided into three periods of about five days each.

“Tsubame Itaru : Swallows are coming from the south.”

The label is a fresh blue and green with a silhouette of a swallow, which evokes a sense of freshness.

Image Exhibit: Akkeshi Distillery Official Facebook



1. Manufacturer

Kenten Jitsugyo Co.

Head office Imperial Hotel Tokyo, 1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho, 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.

Deep fog with tidal air, clear air, and abundant peat. Believing that the climate of Akkeshi in Hokkaido will create the unknown Japanese whisky flavor we seek, we started distilling in 2016.
As in the whisky making process on the island of Islay, water that has passed through peat layers is used as the brewing water, and the whisky 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 whisky 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 whisky.

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 whisky, is grown in Akkeshi, and everything, including peat and wooden casks for aging, is produced in Akkeshi, aiming for “Akkeshi All-Star” whisky production in the future. In August 2021, a new initiative was started to experimentally distill the original whisky distilled at the Akkeshi distillery. Maturing in Furano The new initiative is to test distill the original whisky 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 whisky, and the fusion of “the individuality of Akkeshi” and “the individuality of Hokkaido” and the whisky production that makes use of the terroir of these lands is fascinating and the expectations are infinite.

Lake Akkeshi and Bekanbeushi 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 whisky is taken from the Homakai River upstream of the Ohoro River, which runs near the distillery. The area surrounding the distillery is a marshland and a habitat for baikamo, a species 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 Single Malt Japanese Whisky Seimei

Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Seimei

4. Characteristics

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

The key malt is all Mizunara oak from Hokkaido.
Bourbon casks account for over 70% of the casks, sherry and wine casks for over 20%, and Quercus serrata casks for a very small percentage. A total of seven types of non-peat and peat barrels are used.
The sweetness of the Akkeshi malt and peat is pleasant. This whisky has a strong sweetness peat, which is a characteristic of Akkeshi.
Unlike the smoky peat of “Boushu” the tide-like peat rises softly after the good richness and bitter sweetness.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaCitrus, vanilla, smoky
TasteLemon sourness, honey, bitter chocolate, tide
AftertastePleasant aftertaste with sweetness and peat

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content55%.
By AlcoholSingle malt Japanese whisky
Cask type

Bourbon casks, sherry casks, wine casks, oak casks

Content volume700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited quantity
Suggested retail price19,800 yen (tax included)
Release dateMay 30, 2022

5. Awards received

No awards received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product nameAkkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Seimei
Suggested retail priceTax included: 19,800 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around48,400 yen to 50,000 yen. (*As of 5/27/2022)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auctions

Sold price on Yahoo! Auctions: Lowest 39,800 yen Highest 52,000 yen Average 45,900 yen (*Statistics for the past 180 days from 5/27/2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Mail-order sites also sell at around50,000yen. (*As of 5/27/2022)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, oneglass, 45ml: 5,610 yen30ml: 3,740 yen, 15ml: 1,870 yen, etc. are offered in small quantities.


7. Summary

The single malts that have been released so far have been “Kanro,” “Bousyu,” and “Ritto”. Ritto is a whisky that dared to depart from the line of Akkeshi, and was a hit with those who like sherry, because it was swept away by sherry.
This time, “Seimei” is back on the Akkeshi-line, and it gives the impression of being a perfect example of Akkeshi. The sweetness and peat coexist in this whisky as if it were the very best of Akkeshi.

The next release will be around the end of August. We expect the next release to be around the end of August. We expect it to be around “Shosho” or “Taisho,” 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 featured 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 whisky 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

(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 whisky 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.

(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 whisky? 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.

(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 whisky 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.

Misato Ushiwata

Born in Fukushima Prefecture.
She attended a university in Tokyo, where she studied brewing and other sciences while translating articles for the "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".

Misato Ushiwataをフォローする
Japanese Whisky Dictionary