[ISC2024] International Spirits Challenge 2024 Award Results

News
News
SuntoryNikka WhiskyYoichi DistilleryMiyagikyo DistilleryFujigotenba DistilleryChichibu Distillery (Ichiro's Malt)Hombo ShuzoAkkeshi DistilleryKanosuke DistilleryNagahama DistillerySakurao DistilleryYuza Distillery

International Spirits Challenge 2024 Awards Results for Japanese Whiskies.

The results of the “International Spirits Challenge (ISC)”, organized by “Drinks International”, a British publisher specializing in alcoholic beverages, have been announced.

Ninety Japanese whisky products received awards this year. In this issue, we will introduce two award-winning results and products, DOUBLE GOLD and GOLD.

スポンサーリンク

1. What is the International Spirits Challenge (ISC)?

The International Spirits Challenge (ISC) is an international spirits competition held in London for the 28th time this year.
It is classified into three categories: the “Tasting Award” for flavor, the “Design & Packaging Award” for design, and the “Spirits Tourism Award” for the attractiveness of distilleries.
The “Tasting Awards” include the Whisky, Brandy, Rum, White Spirits, Liqueur, and Shochu categories, with over 2,200 spirits entered from approximately 70 countries around the world.
The spirits are judged in blind tastings by world-renowned spirits industry experts, and in order of excellence, the Double Gold, Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards are given.

Past Awards for Japanese Whisky

The highest award is the “Trophy” selected from the Double Gold, and in the whiskey category, “Hibiki 30 years old” from Suntory Whisky of Japan has won the award four times in the past, in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
In the 13th Trophy held in October 2009, Nikka Whisky’s “Taketsuru 21 years Pure Malt” won the Trophy for the first time.
Since then, Nikka Whisky’s Taketsuru series has continued to win gold medals for more than 10 years.
In addition, the title of “Supreme Champion Spirit” is awarded to the brand that is more outstanding as a distilled spirit from among all the “Trophies” in each of its categories.
In the past, the Supreme Champion Spirit was awarded to Suntory’s “Hibiki 21 years old” in 2017.

Other international awards for whisky include the World Whisky Awards (WWA), which are held by the publishers of the same British whisky magazine, “Whisky Magazine”.
Incidentally, all brands entered in the competition are eligible to receive some kind of award, at least a bronze.
Now, we would like to introduce the whiskies that won Double Gold and Gold in the Japanese Whisky category.

*For whiskies that are not available in our store, we have quoted the images and information from the official website of the manufacturer.

2. Double Gold Awarded Whiskies

2-1. Suntory HIBIKI 21 Years Old

The malt base sake used in this product is carefully selected and blended from those aged 21 years or more. The grain base alcohol is also carefully selected and blended with matured base alcohol that is 21 years old or older.
The harmony of the luxurious original sake can be enjoyed only with Suntory’s wide variety of original sake. The aroma is extremely fruity and luscious, with an aged aroma reminiscent of flowers. The mouthfeel is smooth, and the 21-year-old sake has a heavy body and a graceful richness. The finish is deep and lingering with a long aftertaste.

[Review] Hibiki 21 Years
Japanese Whisky Hibiki21.The world's highest peak blended whisky symphony symphony sound 21 years. It is now very diffic...

2-2. Suntory HIBIKI 30 Years Old

Only a few thousand bottles are made per year, making it a rare and precious limited-quantity product.
The malt sake is carefully selected from Suntory’s treasured casks that have been aged for a very long time and are at least 30 years old.
This is then carefully blended with matured grain base sake that is at least 30 years old.
The sake is delivered in a 30-sided cut crystal bottle as a luxurious jewel.

2-3. Suntory Yamazaki 12 Years

Delicate, complex, and deep.
A single malt representing Japan with a delicate and elegant taste. The complex aroma that never gets old and pushes in layers of flavors continues to fascinate the world.

2-4. Kirin Single Grain Japanese Whisky Fuji 50th Anniversary Edition

Fuji Gotemba Distillery has continued to refine its techniques, persistence, and passion for whiskey.

It is a blend of all three types (Bourbon, Canadian, and Scotch ) of original grain whisky from the precious 1970s distillation at the time of operation, and subsequent generations of original whisky from the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. You will enjoy a beautiful taste that perfectly blends the sweet and complex matured aroma derived from the long-aged original grain and the gorgeous aroma of the original grain that has been continuously improved with an eye to the future.

[June 25th on sale]Kirin Single ...
Kirin Beer Company, Limited will release Kirin Single Grain Japanese Whiskey Fuji 50th Anniversary Edition. The price is...

3. Gold award winners

Venture Whisky Corporation Chichibu Distillery

3-1. Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries

Double Distilleries won the award from the popular Ichiro’s Malt Leaf series.

This is a blended malt from two distilleries, the former Hanyu Distillery’s original distillate and the Chichibu Distillery’s original distillate. It is rumored that the Hanyu Distillery’s original sake is already quite low in quantity, and it is unclear how long this whisky will be released as well. The initial batch was mostly made from Hanyu Distillery, but the latest batch is mostly made from Chichibu Distillery.

[Review] Ichirose Malt Double Di...
We battered malt raw sake from Hanyu Distillery and Chichibu Distillery, and Hanyu Distillery's malt raw sake uses &quot...

3-2. Ichiro’s Malt Red Wine Cask 2023

Official release product under the Chichibu name.
Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu Red Wine Cask is a single malt Japanese whisey made by maturing Chichibu malt whisky again in barrels used for maturing red wine.

The flavors created by carefully selected wine casks from France, the U.S., New Zealand, and Japan create a multi-layered change in flavor, and over time the sweetness is enhanced in this elegant gem. The spicy, bitter and fruity flavors are balanced to perfection.

[Review] Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu ...
This whisky is very fruity and also has a firm spicy character. The aroma is wonderful, and the alcohol attack is firm b...

3-3. Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Blended Japanese Whisky

Chichibu Distillery, which started production in 2008, currently matures its whiskey in seven cellars. The key malt is the one that shows its strength in blending, and this product is a well-balanced blend of only the unique domestic sake matured in Chichibu.
The refreshing acidity that blends with the heavy brown sugar-like sweetness and the barrel aroma filled with memories of the aging cellar linger pleasantly on the palate. The malt is bottled in natural color, non-chill filtered, so that you can enjoy the original character of the original. We hope you will fully enjoy this blended Japanese whisky, a blend of malt and grain from Japan, nurtured by time.

Reference: From the label on the back of the product

The Chichibu Distillery, established in 2008, uses malt whisky produced at the former Hanyu Distillery, and grain whisky produced at the Kawasaki Distillery 40 years ago from corn and other ingredients, each with their own unique characteristics. The blended Japanese whiskey is aged in a variety of casks, including bourbon and sherry casks. This bottle can be said to be the culmination of Ichiro’s Malt from the past to the present.

イチローズモルト モルト&グレーン ブレンデッド ジャパニーズウイスキー リミテッドエディション 2024 Ichiro’s 秩父
ノーブランド品
[Review] Ichiro’s Malt & Grain B...
Ichiro's Malt & Grain Blended Japanese Whiskey Limited Edition 2024. venture whiskey, released by Chichibu Distiller...

Komasa Shuzo Kanosuke Distillery & Hioki Distillery

3-4. Kanosuke Double Distillery

“Kanosuke Double Distillery” is a blend of whiskies produced at the two distilleries, Kanosuke Distillery and Hioki Distillery, blended and bottled in Hioki, Kagoshima, in a way that brings out the individuality of each distillery’s whiskies.

The barrel-aged shochu “Mellowed Kozuru” was born from the challenge of the second generation of Komasa Brewery’s founder, Kanosuke Komasa. Enjoy this Japanese whiskey that is a fusion of the individuality of the craftsmen and the two brothers who have inherited their grandfather’s dream.

[Review] Kanosuke DOUBLE DISTILL...
KANOSUKE DOUBLE DISTILLERY, a blended whiskey from the Kanosuke Distillery and Hioki Distillery by Kosho Kanosuke Distil...

3-5. Kanosuke Hioki Pot Still

This product is distilled at the distillery in Hioki using a new type of Japanese pot still inspired by Irish pot stills. This is a new type of Japanese whisky produced by the Kanosuke Komasa Distillery. It is distilled using a single-stage, reduced-pressure distillation method, keeping the distillation volume low. The result is a powerful whiskey with a strong flavor derived from the ingredients.

嘉之助 HIOKI POT STILL シングルモルト ジャパニーズ 小正嘉之助蒸溜所 かのすけ KANOSUKE
ノーブランド品
[Review] Kanosuke HIOKI POT STIL...
KANOSUKE HIOKI POT STILL", the second standard product after "Single Malt KANOSUKE", has been released. I...

Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery

3-6. Kirin Single Blended Japanese Whisky Fuji

The first single blended whisky recognized in Japan

Kirin Single Blended Japanese Whisky is the embodiment of Fuji Gotemba Distillery’s commitment to whisky making and its unique characteristics.

Single blended means a blend of malt and grain whiskies made at a single distillery, and this product is the first whisky in Japan to be recognized under this new designation.
Fuji Gotemba Distillery, where everything from preparation to maturation is done at the foot of Mt. In creating this single blended, we placed great importance on the concept of the “terroir of time” in whisky.
Terroir in whisky refers to the location at the foot of Mt. Fuji where the whisky is made and nurtured, as well as the time spent by the original whisky in that location. Fuji, refined over a period of about 50 years, as well as the air quality and weather conditions, the time and climate in which the whiskey has been nurtured is the terroir of whisky.

[Review] Single Blended Japanese...
Everything from preparation to aging is done at the foot of Mt. Fuji, and it is a rare product in the world that blends ...

3-7. Kirin Single Blended Japanese Whisky Fuji 50th Anniversary Edition

This is a special single blended whisky that incorporates 50 years of whisky making history and technology. Anniversary series includes three bottles: Single Grain, Single Malt, and Single Blended.

[November 21,only 3000 bottles l...
The second edition of the Anniversary Edition series from Gotemba Distillery, a rare distillery in the world where the e...

3-8. Kirin Single Blended Japanese Whisky Fuji

Single grain whiskey with three different flavored grains as key grains
Combining three different types of grain base whiskey with different flavor types, this whiskey is characterized by its fruity, fruity, orange and grape aroma.
Three types of grain whisky are produced according to the type of aroma.
The first is a light type of grain base whiskey with a mild aroma produced by a multi-column continuous distillation process.
The second type is a medium grain base with a rich and mellow aroma produced by a kettle distiller, which is a batch distillation process similar to a pot still distiller for malt.
The third type is a heavy grain distilled in a doubler distiller, which was developed for bourbon production, and produces a gorgeous, heavy style.

[Review] Single Grain Whisky Fuj...
Only the grain whiskey raw liquor from the Fuji Gotemba Distillery, which is highly acclaimed worldwide, is used, and th...

3-9. Kirin Single Malt Japanese Whisky Fuji

Fuji is a light and floral malt base whisky that has been traditionally produced as a “clean and elegant” style, a commitment since the company’s founding, and a fruity, creamy malt base whiskey produced by a process that has evolved the brewing and fermentation process. Fuji Single Malt Whiskey uses these two types of malt whiskey. This time, we have decided to use a new type of malt whisky developed in the 2010s because it has matured and developed a fruity aroma as we had hoped.
The barrels used were mainly American white oak bourbon barrels, which Fuji Gotemba Distillery is particular about, but we also used beer barrels and French oak wine barrels, which we had been working on to create a richer flavor. These barrels add floral flavors from the beer barrel aging and fruitiness and depth from the wine barrel aging to the sweet and gorgeous aroma from the bourbon barrel aging.
Fuji Single Malt Whisky Fuji has a rich, mellow, fruity flavor that evokes the beauty and vitality of the majestic Fuji mountains. We hope that this mellow flavor and its long-lasting aftertaste will fill your heart and make you happy.

[Review] Single Malt Japanese Wh...
Light and floral malt base alcohol traditionally produced as a "clean and esteemed" style, which has been our ...

3-10. Kirin Single Malt Japanese Whisky Fuji 50th Anniversary Edition

入荷です「キリン シングルモルト富士 50th Anniversary Edition」|JapaneseWhisky BAR fishborn by BAR fishborn@帯広市

The distillery uses a selection of carefully selected original whiskies distilled in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, including the original distilled in 1973, the year the distillery began operations. This single malt whisky is a perfect blend of the deep, matured aroma of the precious, long-aged original spirit, the delicate malt flavor that has been cherished up to now, and the new, fruity malt flavor that has been refined and refined.
We hope you will enjoy this “beautiful” whisky celebrating our 50th anniversary.

[Lottery sales from May 23, 2023...
The distillery will use a selection of the finest bottles distilled in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, includ...

Honbo Shuzo Komagatake Distillery & Tsunuki Distillery

3-11. MARS The Y.A. #02

Yakushima, a World Natural Heritage island, is located about 60 km southwest of the Kagoshima mainland. The Mars Yakushima Aging Cellar is located on this island, which is blessed with steep mountains and abundant water.
“MARS The Y.A.” is a Japanese whisky that has been aged in this unique environment. It is vatted mainly with malt whisky distilled in Shinshu and Tsunuki and aged in bourbon barrels.
You can enjoy the bright fruity aroma that reminds you of the warm climate, the smoky flavor that reminds you of the mysterious scene when the forests of Yakushima are covered with fog, and the aroma that reminds you of the sea breeze.

[Review] MARS The Y.A. #02
Fruit aroma that evokes a warm climate, smoky flavor reminiscent of the mysterious scene when fog covers the forests of ...

Asahi Nikka Whisky

3-12. Nikka Cafe Grain

A sweet aroma and smooth taste produced by the traditional continuous distillation machine at the Miyagikyo Distillery.
The mellow aftertaste of Nikka blended whisky can be attributed to the subtle sweetness of “Cafe Grain”. If you dare to taste it straight, you will find that despite its 45% alcohol content, there is almost no alcohol stimulation, and a gorgeous aroma (honey, apple, and estery) spreads. Nutty and woody aromas also emanate from the back of the bottle. The taste alternates between sweet apple and honey flavors and an astringent chocolate-like flavor.
The sweet aroma and smooth mouthfeel are characteristic of the café style.

[Review] Nikka Coffey Grain
It is a tasteful grain whiskey made with a "café-type continuous distiller" which is rare in the world.

3-13. Nikka The Grain

Nikka The Grain is made up of seven individualities (original whisky).
The base of Nikka The Grain is a café grain produced in a café-type continuous distiller at the Miyagikyo Distillery in Sendai. Two barley grains and a corn rye distillate, which have been secretly produced and nurtured at Nikka Whisky’s Moji Distillery in Kyushu and Satsumasa Distillery, have been added as new characteristics to this distillate.
In addition, we have blended the café malt from the Miyagikyo Distillery and two rare, long-matured, original malts from the Nishinomiya factory, where Masataka Taketsuru himself was involved in the introduction of the café-style continuous distillation machine.
The result is a grain whisky with a mellow, deep sweetness and a refreshing spiciness.
The result is an innovation with a variety of aromas and flavors that Nikka Whisky has never been able to achieve before.

429 Too Many Requests

3-14. Taketsuru Pure Malt

The only ingredient is malt. In pursuit of the highest level of drinkability that can be achieved without the use of grain, the blenders have refined the various malts of which Nikka Whisky is proud with even greater precision and reorganized the blend.
This skill was acquired through the knowledge and experience accumulated over the years by successive generations of blenders who have mastered the individuality of all the original malts.
The key malts are Yoichi malt aged in sherry casks and Miyagikyo malt aged in remade casks.
Smooth and glossy mouthfeel, gorgeous and fruity aroma. The malt sweetness and richness, and the softly lingering aftertaste. First, drink it straight. Then, add a little water. The malt character is revealed one after the other, and you will be reminded of the art of blending.

[Review] Taketsuru Pure Malt New...
Hsinchutsuru Pure Malt is a combination of malt forged in the northern sea and malt grown in a green canyon.

3-15. Single Malt Yoichi

Heavy and powerful, with aromas of peat and tide. Condensed, the essence of Yoichi malt.

This is a unique single malt with a strong assertion of heavy peat type originals, a solid body and woody oak flavor added by new and sherry cask malts, and a peaty and salty aroma.
When you bring your nostrils up to the glass, the first thing you smell is malt. The aroma of burnt barley, reminiscent of toast, is the smell of mash heated by direct coal-fired distillation, which is rare in the world. The fruity aroma reminiscent of bananas and mangoes is derived from the special yeast used by Nikka. Since the age limit has been removed, the beer has a mature taste combined with the strength of the young original. In the mouth, the aromas of peat, smoke, and tide, which had never come to the fore in the nose, begin to assert themselves strongly. The aroma of the heavy peat base that rises to the nostrils is truly a profound taste that can only be found in Yoichi. There is a light astringency and bitterness, but the sweetness from the oak barrels fills the mouth and is gentle and persistent, with an extremely smoky aftertaste.

[Review] Single Malt Yoichi
Released on September 1, 2015. 2017 ISC Gold Award. The weight and aroma unique to straight head pot still and coal open...

3-16. Single Malt Yoichi PEATY & SALTY

This is a limited edition product of Yoichi distillery. The peat salt spreads softly when you drink it straight, just as the name suggests.
If you drink it on the rocks, the aroma of peat like iodine or seirogan (a medicine made of iodine) will hit you strongly as if it penetrates into your nose. The taste is mainly pungent and salty due to the stimulation of alcohol, with almost no sweetness. Even when watered down, the intense aroma and taste do not diminish, but the alcoholic stimulation is suppressed and a citrus-like acidity follows.

[Review] Single Malt Yoichi Peat...
Single malt whisky limited to Yoichi Distillery.

3-17. Single Malt Yoichi WOODY & VANILIC

A limited edition from Yoichi distillery. The bottle is a good fusion of woody and vanillic flavors derived from the barrels.
Although you can feel the stimulation of alcohol from the slightly tangy, young original, the aroma is fresh and melon-like, and you can also taste vanilla, cocoa, malt, and white oak barrel aroma. As the brand name suggests, the vanilla aroma comes first, followed by a hint of bourbon’s ethereal aroma and bitterness.
When drunk straight or slightly watered down (a few drops of water), the overall sweetness is more pronounced, and the vanilla sweetness follows. The oak and some peat aroma can also be detected.

 【Review】 Single Malt Yoichi W...
Single Malt Yoichi Woody & Vanilla is a series that accentuates the character of the official Yoichi bottles by the ...

3-18. Single Malt Yoichi 10 years

This product has been re-released since 2022. It is said that 9,000 bottles are produced annually, but it is quite rare to find it.
Harmony of soft barrel-aged aroma, malt sweetness, and rich fruity aroma. Gentle and pleasant peatiness. Oak sweetness and a hint of peat. Harmony of maltiness and orange fruit. Warm oak sweetness and smokiness, slowly persisting.

3-19. Single Malt Yoichi Grande

Product for airport duty free stores.
This product brings out the character of the heavy peat malt and new cask-aged malt that support the strong and thick flavor of “Single Malt Yoichi”. It is characterized by a rich, mature aroma, mild sweetness, mellow fruity harmony, soft and smoky aroma, malt aroma and bittersweet peat, thick richness, a hint of oak sweetness, and a woody, full finish.

Akkeshi Distillery

3-20. Akkeshi Single Malt Taisetsu

This is the ninth in the Akkeshi Twenty-Four solar terms series.
Taisetsu is a single malt released in the 24 Season Single Malt Series, and is composed of less peat. This bottle has a strong sweetness with citrus, brown sugar, herbs, Darjeeling, and other soft and full-bodied Japanese citrus flavors of the original Akkeshi Distillery sake. The label design is of a bear hibernating in its hibernation.

[Review] Akkeshi Single Malt Jap...
Japanese Whisky, Akkeshi Single Malt Japanese Whisky Taisetsu. The key malt in this release is also all Hokkaido Mizunar...

3-21. Akkeshi Single Malt Keichitsu

This is the 10th of the Twenty-Four solar terms series.
The single malt Keichitsu is the 10th release in the series of Twenty-Four solar terms series. As the official tasting comment describes, Keihin is described as “Mitarashi-dango,” with saltiness and peat bringing a soy sauce-like flavor and aroma, and sweetness and spiciness bringing a sauce-like nuance. The label design depicts a bear emerging from its den after hibernation.

[Review] Akkeshi Single Malt Jap...
"Keichitsu" is savory and sweet, with a slight peaty aftertaste. It also has a sweet, whole wheat cookie-like ...

3-22. Akkeshi Blended Whisky Shoman

This is the 11th in the Akkeshi Twenty-Four solar terms series.
Flavors such as yellow tropical fruits, pine muscat, bacon, and pancakes remind one of a breakfast at a tropical hotel. They blend various barrels each time, but they also use barrels that are a little different from the usual. The bottle is bright green, like fresh summer greenery.

[Review] Akkeshi Blended Whisky ...
The key malt is all Hokkaido Quercus crispula. The cask composition is a diverse blend of bourbon, sherry, wine, quercus...

3-23. Akkeshi Single Malt Hakuro

This is the 12th bottle of the Akkeshi Twenty-Four solar terms series.
Hakuro was released as a single malt. The peat is strong in the series. It has an elegant sweet and savory taste like baked sweets along with orange and tangerine flavors, and a lingering salty, bitter, and spicy taste. The label design features a chrysanthemum pattern with golden Akkeshi characters.

[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 ...

3-24. Akkeshi Vatted Malt Kamuichikapu

In Akkeshi, there is a “Kamui series” that is served for special events other than the Twenty-Four solar terms. “Kamuichikapu” is the Ainu word for Blakiston’s Fish Owl, and “Repunkamui” is the Ainu word for Killer Whale.
Kamuichikapu can only be tasted at events such as whisky festivals. However, it is quite popular and is said to sell out quickly at festivals. No bottles are sold at all. The design is also different from that of Twenty-Four solar terms.

Kamuichikapu is a vatted malt of Scottish malt and Atsugishi malt, a so-called blended malt. The taste is fruity and floral with a gorgeous aroma, soft peat, sweetness and sourness derived from the original alcohol.

Nagahama Distillery, Nagahama Roman Beer Co.

3-25. Single Malt Nagahama Second Batch

Nagahama Distillery is a small-scale distillery in Japan. In the spirit of “one brew, one barrel,” only the highest quality malt sake is carefully selected from among the sake in the cellar, and four types of aged sake are vatted: Oloroso sherry, Koval whisky, Islay quarter, and bourbon quarter barrels from the 2019 distillation. The fruity dried fruitiness, sweetness, acidity and peat are well balanced.

[Review] Single Malt Nagahama TH...
Four different types of aged spirits, including Oloroso sherry casks, KOVAL whisky casks, Islay quarter casks, and bourb...

SAKURAO B&D Sakurao Distillery

3-26. Single Malt SAKURAO SHERRY CASK STILLMAN’S SELECTION

A blend of sherry casks carefully selected by Stillman.

Stillman, who has tasted many original bottles at the distillery, selected the best conditioned Sherry casks and blended them. The aroma with fresh fruit acidity changes to a bitter aroma reminiscent of high cocoa chocolate, and then to a creamy richness and a dark fruity flavor like Pione and American cherries. The aroma is then transformed into a deep and long aftertaste with a hint of peat.

[Review] Single Malt Japanese Wh...
A single malt blended from the best SHERRY CASK selected by Stillman, who has tasted numerous bottles of the original.

Kinryu Yuza Distillery Co.

3-27. THE YUZA Third Edition

The third edition of the YUZA is made from Japanese oak casks of “mizunara” (Quercus mongolica var. mongolica), and vatted with bourbon and sherry casks.
The fruity base is typical of the Yuza Distillery, with pleasant vanilla and a hint of peat aromas. The finish is complex, with a heavy oak-derived flavor combined with a mellowness.

[Review] YUZA Third Edition 2023
YUZA Third Edition will be released in November 2023 from Yusa Distillery for 16,500 yen (tax included). It is made with...

3-28. THE YUZA   2023

The Yuza Distillery’s standard product. THE “YUZA 2023” is the origin of Yuza Distillery’s house style. It embodies the style that the distillery aims for. The distillery selects its ingredients from bourbon casks for its clean, fruity taste and sweet, vanilla-like flavor.

 
[Review] YUZA 2023
This single malt Japanese whisky is the "origin" of Yuza Distillery's house style. It is characterized by its ...

Suntory Yamazaki Distillery & Hakushu Distillery & Chita Distillery

3-29. Kakubin Bottle

Kakubin Bottle won the ISC Gold Award. It is made exclusively from domestic distillery sake and meets the labeling standards for Japanese whiskey set by the Japan Spirits and Liqueurs Makers Association. A well-balanced blend of Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries’ original bourbon cask whiskey, this whiskey is characterized by its sweet aroma, thick richness, and dry finish. A pioneer of the nationally popular highball.

[Review] Suntory Kakubin
Suntory Kakubin, as it's known, is one of the blended whiskey brands produced by Suntory Spirits and sold by Suntory Liq...

3-30. Suntory Old

The taste, which has been forged and refined by the palates of many whisky lovers, has been further mellowed by strengthening the sherry casks that were once the key malt of Old. The design of the bottle was designed to maintain tradition while pursuing a sense of quality and luxury that is applicable to the modern age. The bottle was nicknamed “Daruma” because of its shape, and became popular through commercials with memorable phrases.

3-31. Suntory Royal

Royal is the last and greatest masterpiece of Suntory’s founder and first master blender, Shinjiro Torii. He continued to search for the taste that Japanese people truly appreciate, and the blend ratio he perfected is the ultimate “golden ratio”. Just as the human form of beauty is created from a golden ratio, so too is Royal created from a “golden ratio” blend.
Royal’s unique bottle is unlike any other whisky. The shape of the bottle is based on the Chinese character for “sake,” the rooster. This character is the tenth of the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac, and at the same time, it also means a sake pot or vessel. The subtly curved stopper is a reference to the torii gate of the shrine located behind the Yamazaki distillery. 40 years later, the bottle design is still loved by people around the world, and is a perfect match for Shinjiro Torii’s masterpiece whisky.

3-32. Suntory Special Reserve

A “gorgeously fragrant” whisky blended from a wide variety of base whiskies. It has a mature, sweet and gorgeous aroma reminiscent of vanilla, and a mellow and deep mouthfeel. The monotone black shape bottle with white letters pursues a modern and sophisticated brand image.

3-33. Suntory Toki

Suntory Whisky TOKI is a whisky not yet released in Japan, launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2016 and in the U.K. in 2018. This reimported Japanese whisky is a blend of Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Chita whiskies. Recently, it has been seen here and there more and more.

3-34. Hibiki Japanese Harmony

This product embodies the concept of Hibiki as a whisky made with the Japanese four seasons, Japanese sensibilities, and Japanese craftsmanship.
“Suntory Whisky Hibiki JAPANESE HARMONY” is a product of the Suntory spirit, created with a wide variety of original whisky and craftsmanship cultivated over the history of Suntory’s whisky production, without focusing on the age of the whisky.
The 24-sided bottle design, which represents the Twenty-Four solar terms(*) unique to the “Hibiki” brand, is retained, and the word “Hibiki” is printed in black ink on the Kinari Echizen Japanese paper label to express the sophisticated world view of Japanese whisky.
*The Twenty-Four solar terms or 24-week period, is a time period in which the year is divided into the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and each of the 24 periods is further divided into six seasons, each of which has a name that expresses a seasonal characteristic, such as “Risshun” and “Ritto”.

[Review] Hibiki Japanese Harmony
This product embodies the Hibiki concept of whisky made with the four seasons of Japan, Japanese sensibilities, and the ...

3-35. Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master’s Select

Products for airport duty free stores. Hibiki Japanese Harmony Master’s Select is a limited edition specially blended with Yamazaki sherry cask base sake. While maintaining Hibiki’s traditional elegance, the harmony of the diverse original spirits creates a gorgeous and refined drinking experience.

3-36. Hibiki Blender’s Choice

This is the successor to Hibiki 17 Years Old. The flavor of whisky varies greatly depending on the cask in which it is laid down. Bourbon casks, sherry casks, and Japanese oak casks are commonly used, but Hibiki Blender’s Choice is characterized by the use of wine casks for some of the original whisky. Generally, wine casks have a strong sense of oddity, but whiskies laid down in wine casks often have a fruity and sweet flavor, creating a mellow and sweet taste and a well-balanced flavor even if the maturation period is short.

3-37. Hibiki 100th Anniversary Blend

Carefully selected unique sake with a rich character that is at least 17 years old.
In addition, Yamazaki Mizunara oak barrel malt malt that is over 30 years old and mature Chita grain malt have been carefully blended. This blend adds a sense of maturity and complexity to the gorgeous aroma that is unique to “Hibiki”.
This is a special blend with an aroma and flavor that is befitting of the 100th anniversary.

The aftertaste is smooth and lingers for a long time. We hope you can feel the thoughts that continue into the future.

3-38. Single Malt Hakushu

Single malt whisky “Hakushu” was carefully selected by the blender from a wide variety of original whiskies grown at the Hakushu Distillery.
It has a refreshing taste that harmonizes the aroma of young forest leaves and fresh fruitiness.
At the Hakushu Distillery, the traditional “wooden vat fermentation” is carried out a little longer to promote the work of lactic acid bacteria and microorganisms, which creates complex flavor components and produces the malt whisky with that refreshing and deep flavor characteristic of Hakushu single malt whisky.
The fruity aroma and creamy richness of Hakushu’s unique flavor and taste can only be achieved in the rich natural environment of Hakushu.

[Review] Single Malt Hakushu NV ...
The single malt whisky Hakushu was carefully selected by the blender from a wide variety of original spirits. It has a r...

3-39. Single Malt Hakushu 12 Years

Smoky flavor with a hint of smokiness
Slightly smoky malt is fermented in wooden vats with top-surface yeast. The fruity and creamy wash (the moromi at the end of fermentation) is distilled in an open-flame distillation kettle and stored in white oak barrels for more than 12 years in a cellar in the forests of Hakushu. The original sake is brewed with limpid natural water from the Southern Alps, which is also known for the Oshira River, one of the top 100 famous rivers in Japan, and fermented in wooden vats and distilled over an open flame in a forest cellar.

[Review] Single Malt Hakushu 12y...
Slightly smoky malt is fermented in a wooden tub tank using upper yeast. The fruity and creamy wash is distilled in an o...

3-40. Single Malt Hakushu 18 Years

The deep flavor and aroma of a long-aged malt, with the deep aroma of ripe fruit, a hint of smokiness, and freshness intact. Complex richness, sweetness, and rich oak aroma are in perfect harmony. The lingering aftertaste, which includes a faint smokiness, is also pleasant. Long-aged malts of more than 18 years old produce a deep aroma and a subtle smokiness.
The complex richness, sweetness and fragrant oak aroma are in perfect harmony. Please enjoy the smoky and pleasant aftertaste.

429 Too Many Requests

3-41. Single Malt Hakushu 25 Years


A creamy, woody, peaty, and smoky single malt Hakushu malt that is more than 25 years old,
The rich fruitiness of the Spanish oak barrels was carefully selected and examined, and then carefully matured. The ultimate in mellow and magnificent aging.

3-42. Single Malt Hakushu 18 Years Peated Malt

A limited edition for overseas customers to commemorate Suntory’s 100th anniversary. Hakushu 18 Peated Malt is a carefully selected malt whisky aged for more than 18 years in a variety of casks to commemorate Suntory Whisky’s 100th anniversary. The blender at the Hakushu Distillery uses peat and Hakushu mountain water filtered through ancient granite to soften the mouthfeel. Sophisticated and elegant, this centennial Hakushu peated malt is less smoky and never dominant, resulting in a more complex and gentle palate that is typically Japanese in style. The result is a spicy, peppery nose that deepens with slow waves of smoke, revealing grassy and green fruity notes.

*This is a product for overseas consumption, so a translation function is used.

3-43. Single Malt Yamazaki

Soft and gorgeous aroma, sweet and smooth taste.
Yamazaki is the result of the meeting of various Yamazaki malts, including the traditional Mizunara oak barrel-stored malt and the innovative wine barrel-stored malt.
The strawberry-like aroma hidden in the soft and gorgeous flavor comes from the wine barrel-aged malt base, and the sweet, shimmering, smooth spread is created by the addition of the Mizunara barrel-aged malt base.

[Review] Single Malt Yamazaki NV...
Single malt Yamazaki is a whisky with a sweet, soft, fruity aroma and a smooth mouthfeel with complex flavors derived fr...

3-44. Single Malt Yamazaki 18 years

An overwhelming sense of depth and maturity.
This is a full-bodied type of malt that has been carefully matured in sherry casks for more than 18 years. You can enjoy the overwhelming sense of maturity. The aroma of sweet dried fruits and savory chocolate derived from sherry cask aging is impressive. It has a deep and matured taste with a hint of long-aged original wine from Mizunara oak casks.

[Review]THE YAMAZAKI SINGLE MALT...
The aroma of sweet dried fruits and savory chocolate derived from aging in sherry casks is impressive. The taste has a s...

3-45. Single Malt Yamazaki 25 years

Noble woody aroma, complex sweetness, and a long, deep aftertaste.
We carefully selected and blended very rare malt liquors of more than 25 years old that have been aged for a very long time in Mizunara oak, Spanish oak and American oak barrels. The annual production is limited to a few thousand bottles. The aroma has a fragrant woody accent including Kyara from Mizunara oak barrels, and ripe fruit aromas from Spanish oak and American oak maturation. The wine has a mild sweetness and deep acidity that spreads mellowly in the mouth, followed by bitterness and a pleasant oriental aftertaste.

3-46. Single Malt Yamazaki GOLDEN PROMISE

A limited edition for overseas consumption. Yamazaki Golden Promise is made from Golden Promise barley, a variety first grown in Scotland in the 1960s and revered for its flavor and malting characteristics. Combined with aging in American oak barrels, the malty, rich character and sweet, fruity, citrus notes emphasize the Yamazaki base nuances.

3-47. Single Malt Yamazaki 18 years Mizunara cask

A limited edition for overseas consumption. Through years of experimentation, the blenders have discovered the treasured secrets of the Mizunara cask. The long aging period gives Yamazaki its unmistakable spiciness and notes of sandalwood and aloe. The result is a pleasantly complex, rich, and elegant whisky with fruit, spice, and wood notes that stimulate the senses, Yamazaki Mizunara Aged 18 Years.

3-48. Single Malt Yamazaki LIMITED EDITION 2023

Yamazaki’s limited edition series is released by lottery every year. This whisky is aged in new Mizunara oak casks. Mizunara, once considered low quality due to its scarcity during the war, now brings an oriental flavor that is highly valued in Japanese whiskey production. The main malts are aged for about 12 years, a longer aging process than some Scotch whiskies, resulting in a deep flavor!

3-49. Single Malt Yamazaki PEATED MALT SPANISH OAK

A limited edition for the international market. This collection is a testament to the concept of “craftsmanship”, meaning “traditional Japanese craftsmanship”. Born from the creative craftsmanship of Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo, the single malts from the Yamazaki and Hakushu Distilleries are made from peated malt and aged in Spanish oak barrels to deepen their unique flavor and create smoky aromas and colorful spice characteristics.

The spirit of craft is infused in the packaging and label design by Chiso, a very well-known kimono shop in Kyoto. Since its founding in 1555, Chiso has been challenging conventional thinking while paying homage to traditional kimono making. The designs are based on actual kimonos and draw inspiration from the stunning natural surroundings of both distilleries. Experience the embodiment of true craft through inspired innovation in the Craft collection.

3-50. Single Malt Yamazaki SMOKY BATCH The First

This product was released exclusively in duty-free stores in Japan. The series is named after the First and may be released in the future.

3-51. Single Malt Yamazaki Story of the Distillery 2024

The Yamazaki distillery has pioneered the history of Japanese whisky for over 100 years and continues to strive for the highest standards of quality. “Yamazaki Story of the Distillery 2024 EDITION” is a bottle that unravels the story of the Yamazaki Distillery and its craftsmanship. The distillery has blended a variety of malt liquors, including Mizunara and Spanish Oak, which are typical of the Yamazaki brand.

Finally

Out of a total of 90 products, more than half were awarded GOLD, which is a great accomplishment. Last year, 38 products were awarded GOLD or higher, but this year, 51 products were awarded GOLD or higher.

We are informed that the number of distilleries in Japan has also exceeded 120. In the future, a considerable number of distilleries will participate in competitions like Scotch whisky, and Japanese whisky will probably become even more global.

On the other hand, while it may be good to have more suppliers, it does not mean that there are no more places that do not belong to a union and sell whisky for overseas consumption as Japanese.
However, there will be distilleries that win world-class awards and further develop their skills, and there will be distilleries that are eliminated and disappear in the future.
I respect and support the distilleries in Japan that continue to be particular about their craftsmanship and offer genuine “Japanese whisky,” and I hope that the whisky scene will continue to flourish in the future.

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".

Misato Ushiwataをフォローする
スポンサーリンク
タイトルとURLをコピーしました