[Review] Akkeshi Blended Whisky Shosetsu – Characteristics, Taste, List Price, Where can I buy it?

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Akkeshi Distillery

Review of Akkeshi Blended Whisky Shosetsu. Newly released by Kenten Jitsugyo. Characteristics, price, and how to purchase.

“Akkeshi Blended Whisky Shosetsu,” the 13th in the Akkeshi Whisky [Twenty-Four solar terms series], is now on sale.

This is the first release in about three months since the last Single Malt Hakuro.

The first releaseSingle Malt Whisky KanroReleased on October 28, 2020
The second releaseBlended Whisky UsuiReleased on February 28, 2021
The third releaseSingle Malt Japanese Whisky BoshuReleased on May 28, 2021
The fourth releaseBlended Whisky ShoshoReleased on August 25, 2021
The fifth release Single Malt Japanese Whisky RittoReleased on November 25, 2021
The sixth releaseBlended Whisky DaikanReleased on February 25, 2022
The seventh release Single Malt Japanese Whisky SeimeiReleased on May 30, 2022
The eighth releaseBlended Whisky TaishoReleased on August 26, 2022
The ninth releaseSingle Malt Japanese Whisky TaisetsuReleased on December 5, 2022
The tenth releaseSingle Malt Japanese Whisky KeichitsuReleased on February 27, 2023
The eleventh releaseBlended Whisky ShomanReleased on May 31, 2023
The twelfth releaseSingle Malt Japanese Whisky HakuroReleased on August 24, 2023
The thirteenth releaseBlended Whisky ShosetsuReleased on November 22, 2023

Keichitsu” is again releasing single malt and blended products alternately, this time in blended form.

The “Twenty-Four solar terms” are the 24 equal divisions of the year and are named to represent the seasons, such as “Risshun” and the “Geshi”.

“Shosetsu” is the 20th of the 24 solar terms, when the withering of the trees blows and the pressure changes to a wintry high in the west and low in the east. It is so called because the first snow arrives from northern countries and snow can be seen on mountains, but not so much.

(Image source: Akkeshi Distillery Facebook)

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1. Manufacturer

Kenten Jitsugyo Co.

Established1982
Head officeImperial Hotel Tokyo, 1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0011, Japan
Owned distilleryAkkeshi Distillery

2. Dstillery

Akkeshi Distillery

Address109-2, Miyazono 4-chome, Akkeshi-cho, Akkeshi-gun, Hokkaido 088-1124, Japan
Start of operationOctober 2016

2015 Started construction of the distillery
2016 Started distilling 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 “Sarorun Kamuy” is released.
    April: Fourth maturation warehouse completed
    October: First in the Twenty-Four solar terms Series “Single Malt Kanro” was released.
2021 Construction of new milling building (operation starts in 2022)
2023 April: Fifth maturation warehouse completed

The concept is “Whisky that inherits the traditional Scottish process and has a flavor unique to Akkeshi.”

Deep fog with tidal air, clear air, and abundant peat. We started distilling in 2016, believing that the climate of Akkeshi in Hokkaido will create the unknown Japanese whisky flavor we seek.
In order to make the most of the “terroir” of Hokkaido and Akkeshi in whisky making, we will continue to hone our skills in this region, and at the same time, we will continue to be more deeply in touch with the people and nature of the region. Barley and Quercus crispula grown in the land of Hokkaido, the beautiful water of Akkeshi, and peat containing abundant minerals. Our wish is to make everything from Hokkaido and deliver to the world a Japanese whisky that cannot be found anywhere else.

Reference: Blender’s Attention [Akkeshi Distillery]

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.

The ripening rooms are currently from the first to the fifth ripening room. The first is a dunnage type, and the second (next to the filling building) is currently used to store products prior to shipment. The third to fifth maturing warehouses are rack type, and are located on a hill overlooking Akkeshi Bay, where “sea fog” with the scent of the sea envelops the entire town of Akkeshi and deepens the maturation of the malt, which is expected to have a positive effect on the characteristics of the whisky.

In addition to bourbon and sherry, hard-to-find “Quercus serrata” casks are used for maturation. Furthermore, we are challenging every possibility, such as matching with wine and rum casks.

In addition, the barley used to make the whisky is grown in Akkeshi, and everything is produced in Akkeshi, including the peat and wooden barrels used for aging, with the goal of creating an “Akkeshi All-Star” whisky in the future. As a new initiative, in August 2021, the distillery began experimentally maturing the distilled spirit at the Akkeshi Distillery in Furano. 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 “Hokkaido” as well as the locality of Akkeshi. The idea of “terroir,” which wine connoisseurs have probably heard a lot about, is incorporated into whisky, and the fusion of “the character of Akkeshi” and “the character of Hokkaido” to create whisky that makes use of the terroir of these lands is fascinating and the expectations are limitless.

Lake Akkeshi and Bekambeushi 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 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 about the Akkeshi Distillery, please see also here.↓

Akkeshi Distillery | Japanese ...
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

3. Product name and photo

Akkeshi Blended Whisky Shosetsu
Akkeshi Blended Whisky SHOSETSU

4. Characteristics of Akkeshi Blended Whisky Shosetsu

Key malt is “All Hokkaido Whisky in Mizunara Casks”

Partially made from Hokkaido barley, it is aged for more than three years in Hokkaido Mizunara casks and other types of casks. The aroma gives the impression of more peat than most Atsugishi in the winter season so far, although many of them are mildly peaty.
The spicy sweet aroma peculiar to Mizunara oak is impressive. There is also a scent of citrus peculiar to Akkeshi.

Tasting Notes:
<Aroma> Potapota-yaki, hot egg omelet with a dash of soy sauce, honey lemon, and a hint of raisin
<Taste> Smoke, citrusy acidity and sweetness
<Aftertaste> Poivre rosé, orange sauce, salted lemon

Reference: Akkeshi Distillery official Facebook

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaCheese steamed bread, sweet iburigakko, lemon gummy
TasteCitrus acidity, dry peel-like bitterness, cedarwood
LingeringPeeled lemon ice cream sweet and sour bitterness, peppery spiciness on the nose

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol Content48%
By SakeBlended Whisky
Cask typeBourbon casks, Quercus crispula casks, etc.
Volume700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited quantity
Suggested Retail Price13,200 yen (including tax)
Release dateNovember 22, 2023

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price of Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Shosetsu

6-1. Suggested Retail Price

 

Product nameAkkeshi Blended Whisky Shosetsu
Capacity700ml
Suggested Retail PriceTax included: 13,200 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale prices on Mercari range from around 25,500 yen to 35,000 yen. (*As of November 28, 2023)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The auction bid on Yahoo! Auctions has a lowest bid of 24,000 yen and a highest bid of 25,000 yen. (*No record of sale or purchase as of November 28, 2023)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

No sales are currently confirmed for mail order sites. (*As of November 28, 2023)

6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, we offer it in small quantities such as 1 glass, 45ml: 3,960 yen 30ml: 2,640 yen, 15ml: 1,320 yen.

Information about “BAR Shinkai”
Japanese Whisky Dictionary operates three BAR Shingai stores in Minato Ward, Tokyo. In addition to the Japanese whiskeys introduced on this site, they also hand...

7. Summary

The peat in this work is a little more gently fragrant, giving the impression of incense made of peat and Quercus crispula. After being watered down, the smoke aroma changes to a more exotic aroma.
It has a deep sweetness characteristic of Akkeshi blended whisky.

Akkeshi whisky is released about every three months, so the next release will probably be in February, around the time of Risshun.

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

[Review]Akkeshi Single Malt Japa...
Aged for more than 3 years in Hokkaido oak barrels, etc., with some of the original barley made from barley produced in Hokkaido. The aroma is characterized by ...
[Review] Akkeshi Blended Whisky ...
The key malt is all Hokkaido Quercus crispula. The cask composition is a diverse blend of bourbon, sherry, wine, quercus crispus, and rum. The fruity top, orien...
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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.

この記事を書いた人
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".

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