Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Asaka Distillery

Review of YAMAZAKURA Single Malt Asaka PEATED 2023 EDITION from Sasanokawa Shuzo, a product limited to Fukushima Prefecture.Features, price, and how to purchase.


1. What is the Sasanokawa shuzo?

Sasanokawa Shuzo Co.

With over 250 years of history as a sake Shuzo, Sasanokawa Shuzo obtained a license to produce whiskey in 1946, continued to release products such as the YAMAZAKURA series, and established the Asaka Distillery in 2016 as a 250th anniversary project.

The Asaka Distillery has been gaining recognition both domestically and internationally year after year, with Yamazakura Blended Malt Japanese Whiskey Asaka Sherry Wood Reserve winning the world’s highest award in the Blended Malt Whiskey category at the World Whisky Awards (WWA) 2022.

Establishment1765 (Meiwa 2)
Head office1-178 Sasagawa, Koriyama-shi, Fukushima 963-0108
Owned distilleriesAsaka Distillery

2.Asaka distillery

Address1-178 Sasagawa, Koriyama-shi, Fukushima
Start of operation1946 (old facility), resumed distillation in April 2016 (new facility)

Started operation in 1765
1920 Yamaguchi shuzo Co.
1932 Yamazakura Shuzo Limited Partnership established
1946 Whiskey production license obtained.
1966 Sasanogawa Shuzo Co.
1983 Completed construction of whisky malt storage facility
1998 Yamazakura Shuzo and Sasanokawa Shuzo merge, with Sasanokawa Shuzo Co.
2004 (Heisei 16) Receives stored whiskey from Toa Shuzo.
2005 (Heisei 17) Ichiro’s Malt is released, planned by Venture Whiskey. (The manufacturer column on the back label of the bottle is Sasanogawa Shuzo)
2016 (Heisei 26) Asaka distillery starts full-scale operations.

Yamazakura Shuzo, founded in 1710 south of Lake Inawashiro, moved to Koriyama in 1765.
This Yamazakura Shuzo was the first to obtain a license to brew whiskey in 1946, when the demand for whiskey increased as a national policy during the postwar U.S. military occupation.
The shortage of rice during and after the war made it extremely difficult to brew sake, and the influx of Western culture after the war was also a factor in the company’s efforts to make whiskey.
In the 1950s and 1960s, during the period of rapid economic growth, Sasanokawa’s ” Cherry Whiskey ” gained popularity along with Toa Shuzo and Hombo Shuzo, and was called “Cherry of the North, Toa of the East, Mars of the West”.
However, with the slow growth and changing tastes, Toa was forced to withdraw from the business in 2003, and Sasanokawa took care of the barrels of the original whiskey at the distillery in Hanyu.
This was a big help for the release of Ichiro’s Malt, which later became popular worldwide.
Since the end of the war, the distillery has continued to produce whiskey in small quantities, and currently uses two types: a Scotch type and a malt type imported from Kentucky.
The Asaka distillery is located in the Sasanokawa Sake Shuzo, a sake Shuzo that has been in operation since the Edo period, and started operation at the end of October 2016 with production facilities and the cooperation of Chichibu distiller Ichiro Hido.

The pot stills look great against the old-fashioned white plaster walls.

Image credit: Asaka Distillery’s official Facebook page

For more information about Asaka Distillery, please visit

安積蒸溜所 | ジャパニーズウイスキーディクショナリー
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

3. product name and photo


4. Features

Limited edition of 600 bottles in Fukushima Prefecture. A single malt Japanese whiskey with a complex flavor, blended from carefully selected several barrels of bourbon barrel-aged peated Asaka sake.

The malt used has a phenol level of 50ppm. It has a vanilla and oak aroma typical of bourbon aging, and is smoky due to the 50ppm level. In addition, the “citrus flavor” characteristic of the original spirit produces a subtle acidity and brings out the malt’s natural sweetness, resulting in a well-balanced finish that is a perfect combination of the two.

4-1. Tasting Notes


Malt cookies, lime-like citrus, mild peat


Smoke, tidal stimulation, alazan, plum.


Peat lingers until the end, with a well-balanced acidity and sweetness in the middle.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content50% alcohol by volume
By SakeSingle malt Japanese whiskey
Barrel typeBourbon Barrel
Content volume700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited to 600 bottles in Fukushima Prefecture
Suggested retail price13,200 yen (tax included)
Release dateDecember 2023

5. Awards

No awards received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product nameYAMAZAKURA Single Malt Asaka PEATED 2023 EDITION
Suggested Retail PriceTax included: 13,200 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale price on Mercari could not be confirmed. (*As of 3/19/2024)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auction

Sold price on Yahoo! Auction could not be confirmed. (*Statistics for the past 180 days from 3/19/2024)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

No sales on mail-order sites have been confirmed. (*As of 3/19/2024)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, the product is available in small quantities such as 45ml: 3,960 yen, 30ml: 2,640 yen, and 15ml: 1,320 yen per glass.

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

This bottle was previously sold only in Fukushima Prefecture, but as the name “Peated Edition” suggests, it is a bottle with a strong peat taste. The sweetness and acidity typical of Asaka matches the peat as well. It is recommended to drink on the rocks or with a highball.

Please check out other articles about “Asaka Distillery“.

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Ryuhei Oishi

Bartender at bar Shinkai Toranomon, born in Hokkaido.
After working at a restaurant in Tokyo, became a certified sommelier by the Japan Sommelier Association.
I became interested in Japanese whiskey, of which he had little knowledge, and started working at bar Shinkai. I went to distilleries to talk to the distillers and joined JWD to share their passion and information as a bartender.

Ryuhei Oishiをフォローする
Japanese Whisky Dictionary