[Review] Ichirose Malt & Grain Classical Edition

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

The concept of using the world’s five great whiskys, further matured in the Chichibu environment, has been retained, but this time with a more classical flavor. It seems to have been marketed as a higher grade product of “White Label”.
This is a regular product in the lineup, but it will probably be in short supply and difficult to find.
The taste is perfect, and I am impressed by the blending power of the Chichibu distillery.
However, some of the bottles are already being resold at a price 2.5 to 3 times the list price.


1. Manufacturer

Venture whisky Co.

EstablishedEstablished in 2004
Headquarters location 49 Midorigaoka, Chichibu-shi, Saitama 368-0067 Japan
Distilleries ownedChichibu 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 Hido, 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.

Founded in September 2004.
Chichibu distillery was completed in 2007.
In February 2008, a license to make whisky was granted and we began making whisky at the Chichibu distillery.
In October 2019, the second distillery will begin operations.

This distillery was established after Suntory Hakushu Distillery and Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery established in 1973. This distillery was established 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 Classical Edition

4. Characteristics

Blending a variety of flavors into one is a process that becomes more difficult as the range of characteristics of the raw materials used increases, but at the same time the possibilities expand. While maintaining the concept of using the world’s five great whiskys that have been further matured in the Chichibu environment, we have pursued a more classical taste. The high ratio of malt and the gentle smokiness of the whisky create a pleasant harmony in the multiple layers of aroma.
The floral and weighty flavors are supported by the distinct character of each malt. You can enjoy the change of aroma with a long aftertaste in a variety of ways. In order to make the most of the complex flavors of the individual ingredients, we have bottled this beer in a non-chill filtered, non-colored format. The delicate aroma and deep flavor are created by careful blending.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaAromatic, floral and herbal.
TasteThe attack is full of sweetness, but the woodiness gradually emerges, making it pleasantly complex and deep.
AftertasteThe rich sweetness changes to a pleasant peaty aroma, followed by a refreshing aftertaste.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content48% alcohol by volume
alcohol categoryBlended Whisky
Barrel type
Number of bottles sold
Suggested retail price7,700 yen (tax included)
Release dateOctober 23, 2021

5. Awards received

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameStrawberry Malt & Grain Classical Edition
Suggested retail price7,700 yen (tax included)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is Around 18,000 yen to 22,000 yen The resale price on Mercari is as follows. (*as of Oct. 25, 2021)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 17,000 yen, highest bidder: 24,000 yen, average bidder: 19,965 yen (*Statistics for the past 180 days as of Oct. 25, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

There seems to be no sales on mail order sites at this time. (*as of Oct. 25, 2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

Bar Shinkai, which is operated by this website, offers it in small quantities, such as 1 cup, 45 ml: 2,310 yen 30 ml: 1,540 yen, 15 ml: 770 yen.


7. Summary

The taste overturns the previous image of Ichirose Malt. Compared to the White Label, the Classical Edition is overwhelmingly gorgeous, sweet, and complex. It’s not just one rank up, it’s three ranks up.
The regular price of 7,700 yen is higher than the 6,600 yen price of the Leaf series, so I guess it is reasonable to say that.
The Chichibu distillery’s “richly unique raw materials” and “blending ability” make this whisky a superb product.

You can also find other articles about Ichirose Malt.



  1. スポンサーリンク

    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.

鈴木 あかり

Born in Saitama, Japan.
Also active as an actor and graphic designer. He joined Shinkai BAR because he likes to drink. He is in charge of translating articles into English and other languages for the "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".

鈴木 あかりをフォローする
Japanese Whisky Dictionary