[Review] Ichiro’s Malt Malt & Grain World Blended whisky White Label

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

Ichiro’s Malt is popular not only in Japan but also in the world, having won the world’s number one prize at the WWA (World Whisky Awards).
Ichiro’s Malt, which is as popular among whisky fans as the two major brands of Suntory and Nikka, is a popular and difficult to obtain whisky that sells out the moment it appears in stores. The Leaf Series (Quercus Reserve, Wynwood Reserve, and Double Distilleries) are immensely popular and have captivated whisky fans, but this time I would like to review the White Label, the mainstay of the Venture whisky line, which is probably the most drunk of all the whiskies released by Ichiro’s Malt.


1. Manufacturer

Venture whisky Co.

Establishment Established in 2004
Head office 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 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.

Founded in September 2004.
Chichibu distillery was completed in 2007.
In February 2008, a license to make whisky was issued 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, 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 production volume of the second distillery, which has been in operation since the fall of 2019, is five times that of the first distillery. The malt to be prepared at once is 2t. Pot stills are the same straight shape, but have a fairly large pot still so that they can distill five times as much. Forsyth uses a gas open flame distiller.

For more information on Chichibu Distillery, please see also.

List of Japanese Whisky Distille...
The latest list of whisky distilleries in Japan updated in January 2021, including Yamazaki distillery, Hakushu distillery, Yoichi distillery, Miyagikyo distill...

3. Product name

Ichiro’s Malt Malt & Grain World Blended whisky White Label

4. Features

Made with malt from nine distilleries and grain from two distilleries selected from around the world.

Chichibu Distillery, which started production in 2008, matures its whisky in a traditional dunnage-style storage facility*1. From among them, we have selected as the key malt an original whisky that shows its power in blending, and blended it with a well-balanced blend of unique malts and grains aged in Chichibu.
The mellow sourness of the ripe plums and the sweetness that surrounds it is like light cotton candy, and the pleasant barrel aroma of the matured grain wine lingers in the mouth forever. This product has been bottled with non-chill filtered*2 and natural color in order to enjoy the character of the original. We hope you will enjoy the complex flavors that were created through the dialogue with the original sake. (Reference: from the label on the back of the bottle)

1Dunnage style is a method of storing whisky barrels where they are left.
There are two ways to store barrels: dunnage style and racking style. The dunnage style is the traditional way of storing whisky barrels, where the barrels are never placed in more than four layers.
The rack method, as the name implies, is a more efficient way of storing barrels, where the barrels are framed and stacked up to 12 high.
The main difference between the two storage methods is the temperature difference created by the height of the stored barrels, with the racking method being closer to the roof and evaporating faster.
*1  Another big difference is that most of the dunnage styles are placed directly on the ground, and the moisture from that also affects the whisky barrels.
In contrast, many of the racking styles have concrete floors, so the humidity does not change significantly.
*2  Non-chill filter: When the temperature of the whisky matured in the barrel becomes low, the dissolved flavor components precipitate*3 out and become 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.

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

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaTop notes of refreshing citrus fruits such as lemon peel and orange peel.
TasteSweet and light, with a well-balanced taste of the complex and deep original liquor.
AftertasteA sweet and bitter aroma lingers.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content46%
alcohol categoryBlended Whisky
Barrel type
Number of bottles sold
Suggested retail price3,850 yen (tax included)
Release date

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameIchiro’s Malt Malt & Grain World Blended Whisky White Label
Suggested retail price3,500 yen (tax included: 3,850 yen)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is Around 3,800 yen to 5,000 yen The resale price on Mercari is as follows. (*As of February 13 , 2021)

Since it is now easy to buy at a fixed price at liquor stores and online stores, it seems to be traded at almost the same price on Mercari.

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 3,000 yen, highest bidder: 4,900 yen, average bidder: 3,424 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days as of February 13 , 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

It is also sold on mail order sites at Around 3,800 yen to 4,300 yen It is also sold at (*As of February 13 , 2021).

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

At “BAR SHINKAI” , which is operated by this site, it is offered at 1 cup, 45 ml: 1,100 yen (*As of February 13 , 2021) Bar Shinkai, which is operated by this site, offers the product at.

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

It tastes good, is good with soda, and is good in terms of cost. Since it has become easier to obtain in recent years, it is a must drink for whisky beginners.
From Suntory to Toa Shuzo, Sasanogawa Shuzo, and the 2,000 bars where Ichiro Akuto is said to have frequented, it is deeply moving to think that each of these connections has led to today’s Ichiro’s Malt.
Ichiro’s Malt is also starting to come out with a year number, and I’m sure it will continue to lead the way as a pioneer of craft distilleries in Japan.
The Chichibu distillery is now aiming to make whisky that is unique to Chichibu, including products made from barley grown locally in Chichibu and considering the production of barrels using Chichibu materials.
Mr. Ichiro Akuto’s dream is to bring out whisky that has been matured for 30 or 50 years. His dreamy words only make our expectations for the future swell.

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

[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 memory of the aging cellar will be afte...
[Review] Ichiro’s Malt&Grain Wor...
This Limited Edition is a higher grade version of Ichiro's Malt's White Label (World Blended Whiskey). This whisky is made by blending Ichiro's Malt's own malt ...

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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Japanese Whisky Dictionary