[Review] Ichiro’s Malt & Grain 505

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Chichibu Distillery (Ichiro's Malt)

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain 505 (World Blended) was initially released as a “restaurant-only bottle” with the aim of supporting restaurants such as bars and pubs that are struggling due to the new coronavirus. This is very exciting for the industry. Initially, 505 was not going to be sold to the general public. However, since the beginning of this year, it seems that some liquor stores are selling it to the general public because they cannot handle the inventory.

World Blended is a blend of the “five great whiskys of the world” from Scotland, Ireland, the United States, Canada, and Japan. The current products are the White Label, priced at 3,500 yen (3,850 yen including tax), and the Limited Edition (Blue Label), priced at 9,000 yen (9,900 yen including tax). The 505 (Silver Label) is a new addition to the lineup, and will be released as a year-round product rather than a limited edition. It was sold out in March 2021.

A world blend of the world’s five great whiskys, matured in the Chichibu environment. This is a special blend that uses a higher percentage of the higher alcohol content strawberry malt. This is a special blend with a higher percentage of strawberry malt, which has a higher alcohol content than white label.
The name “505” is derived from the alcohol content of 50.5%, but it is also said that 505 looks like SOS.


1. Manufacturer

Venture whisky Co.

Established 2004
Headquarters location 49 Midorigaoka, Chichibu-shi, Saitama 368-0067 Japan
Distilleries owned Chichibu Distillery, Chichibu No.2 Distillery

2. Distillery

Venture whisky Chichibu Distillery

Location 49 Midorigaoka, Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, 368-0067 Japan
Start of operations 2007

Single malt whisky production rooted in the climate of Chichibu is carried out.
Mr. Ichiro Akuto, the founder of the distillery, takes pride in producing Japanese whisky, and is committed to handcrafting malt whisky using small mills, mash tuns, Quercus fermenters, and pot stills made by Forsyth in Scotland.

The area around the Chichibu distillery is rich in nature, with clean air, good quality water, high temperatures and humidity in the summer, and cold temperatures that reach below freezing in the morning and evening. The difference in temperature between the two regions has a profound effect on the maturation of the whisky, resulting in a fruity and well-balanced whisky despite the short maturation period.


September 2004    Founded.
                 2007   Chichibu distillery was completed.
February    2008    License to make whisky was issued and

                              we began making whisky at the Chichibu distillery.
October      2019    The second distillery will begin operations.

This distillery was established after Suntory Hakushu Distillery and Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery, which were established in 1973. The distillery was established in 1973 after Suntory Hakushu Distillery and Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery. The first distillery established in Japan in 35 years. This was the end of the whisky slump.
The annual whisky production is only two days’ worth of the Glenlivet distillery in Scotland.

The second distillery, which has been in operation since the fall of 2019, has a production volume that is a whopping two times that of the first distillery. 5 times The second distillery, which will be operational in the fall of 2019, will produce a whopping 1.5 times more malt than the first. The pot still is the same shape as the first distillery, but it is much larger so that it can distill five times as much malt. It is made by Forsythe. Gas direct-fired distillation machine It is made by Forsythe.

For more information on Chichibu Distillery, please see also.


3. Product name and photo

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain 505

4. Characteristics.

A world blended whisky with a strong malt flavor.
The 505 has an oriental aroma of incense (faintly sandalwood-like) and ginger spiciness typical of Ichiro’s Malt. The feeling is very well balanced and delicious.
This whisky has a higher percentage of malt than the current White Label, so you can taste the maltiness. It’s a great whisky to drink with a hint of sherry.

This product is non-chill filtered*1 and bottled in natural color to allow you to enjoy the character of the original.

*1 Non-chill filter: Whisky undiluted sake aged in barrels has a blended flavor component that precipitates*2 when the temperature decreases and becomes cloudy. In order to prevent this from happening, whisky is usually filtered after being cooled down to about 0 to 5 degrees Celsius. The ingredients that precipitate when cooled are either malt-derived or barrel-derived, both of which are considered to be flavor components of whisky. The fact that the whisky is not cooled and filtered means that it is bottled with the flavor components of the malt and barrels intact, resulting in a whisky with a more complex and richer taste.

*2 Precipitation: The separation of crystals or individual components from a liquid substance.

4-1. Tasting Notes

Aroma The aroma is spicy, with a hint of sweet vanilla, gradually changing to a sweet, chocolate-like aroma.
Taste Spicy, minty, bitter-sweet with a salty and robust maltiness.
Aftertaste Smooth and bitter, with a slight sherry aftertaste.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content 50.5%
Classification Blended
Barrel type Not disclosed
Contents 700ml
Number of bottles sold Number of bottles sold
Suggested retail price 8,250 yen (tax included)
Release date June 26, 2020

Awards received

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product name

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain 505 World Blended

Volume 700ml
Suggested retail price 7,500 yen (tax included: 8,250 yen)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is Around 12,000 yen The resale price on Mercari is as follows. (*as of February 24, 2021)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 8,000 yen, Highest bidder: 160,000 yen, Average bidder: 23,486 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days from February 24, 2021)
The highest price of 160,000 yen was for a set of 12 bottles. The highest price of 160,000 yen was sold as a set of 12 bottles. It seems that many people sell multiple bottles at once.

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

It is also sold at mail order sites. Around 14,000 yen It is also sold at (*As of February 24, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR SHINKAI” , which is operated by this site, we offer it in small quantities such as 1 glass, 45ml: 2,640 yen 30ml:1,760yen 15ml: 880 yen We also offer it in small quantities such as .

Information about “BAR Shinkai”
Japanese Whisky Dictionary operates three BAR Shingai stores in Minato Ward, Tokyo. In addition to the Japanese whiskeys...

7. Summary

Ichiro’s Malt & Grain 505 has a sweet aroma from the moment you open the bottle. The mouthfeel is mellow and features a sweet barrel aroma.
With a little watering, it becomes smoother and the sweet fruity aroma becomes more pronounced. The taste is not vanilla sweetness, but rather a refreshing fruit acidity and sweetness, with a hint of sherry at the end, making it a whisky with complexity.
If you drink it with soda, both the aroma and the taste become even sweeter and easier to drink, so if you don’t like alcohol, try a highball.

As can be said for the entire Leaf series of Ichiro’s Malt, it is a whisky that is “extremely difficult to obtain” , and is sold on the Internet at a pre-price of two to three times the list price. This 505 is no exception, and is a whisky that you don’t often see at a fixed price, but when it was first released it was circulating on the Internet at around 30,000 yen. I think the price has calmed down a bit, but it is still circulating at 12,000 yen to 14,000 yen, almost double the regular price. This is the fate of strawberry malt, and I can’t say I’m surprised.

Please check out the other articles about Ichiro’s Malt.

[Review]Ichiro’s Malt Double Dis...
This project, launched by two highly motivated distilleries in pursuit of new possibilities for Japanese whisky, began s...
[Review] Ichiro’s Malt&Grain Jap...
The refreshing acidity that blends in with the weighty sweetness like brown sugar and the barrel incense filled with the...

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.

新海 博之

Born July 17, 1981 in Kitahiroshima City, Hokkaido, Japan
After graduating from university, joined NTT Data Customer Service Corporation as a new graduate.
2010: Opened "Azabujuban BAR Shinkai" → 2016: Developed specialty "Yakuzen Curry" → 2018: Opened "Toranomon BAR Shinkai" and in 2019 "Shibadaimon BAR Shinkai" → 2020: Started web media "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".
We will daily communicate the appeal of Japanese whiskey as something we, as bartenders, can do.

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