Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Kanosuke Distillery

Komasa Jozo was founded in 1881, and is a very old shochu maker. Its representative brand is the barrel-aged rice shochu “Mellow Kozuru” . Although the company is a shochu maker, it seems that the know-how gained from developing shochu aged in barrels is also used in making whisky.
The name “Kanosuke” was coined in 1957 by Mr. Kanosuke Kosho, the second generation creator of Mellow Kozuru. The distillery is now attracting attention not only in Japan but also overseas.


1. Manufacturer

Kosho Brewing Co.

Establishment1883 (16th year of Meiji)
Head office3309 Hiki, Hiyoshi-cho, Hioki-shi, Kagoshima 899-3101, Japan
Owned distilleryKanosuke distillery

2. Distillery

Kannosuke Distillery

Address 845-3 Jinnokawa, Hiyoshi-cho, Hiki-shi, Kagoshima 899-2421
Start of operation 2018

The Kanosuke distillery stands on a site of about 9,000 square meters by Fukiage beach on the west coast of Kagoshima Prefecture.
In addition to the distillation facilities, the U-shaped, two-story main building has a bar with a great view and a store selling original goods.
The main feature of the distillery is that it has three pot stills (large, medium, and small ). Each has a capacity of 6,000 liters, 3,000 liters, and 1,600 liters.
In the world, craft distilleries usually have two stills. whisky is usually distilled twice, and by using pot stills with different neck shapes and upper line arm angles during the second distillation (re-distillation), the aroma and flavor of the raw material can be changed more richly.
Fukiage beach, where the distillery stands, is one of the three largest sand dunes in Japan and has been selected as one of the 100 best beaches in Japan. The beach is about 47 km long from north to south, and the strong wind rises from the surface of the sea, and the area around the distillery is covered in white mist from the fine spray from the sea. It is a place with a wide range of temperatures, with hot summers and cold winters, where it is not unusual for the temperature to drop to around 0°C and snow to fall.


Image credit: Kanosuke Distillery Official Facebook

For more information on the Kanosuke Distillery, you can also read this article.

3. Product name and photo


4. Characteristics

Stored for 8 months in white oak barrels, Kanoske Newborn!

This single malt Newborn was created by casking whisky raw material distilled in February 2018.
The raw material used is English non-peated malt. After fermentation with distillery yeast, it was distilled in the first distillery kettle, and then in one of the two re-distillation kettles with different structures owned by the Kanosuke distillery, the structure of which is capable of producing liquor with body. After eight months of storage in the Kanosuke Distillery’s sea breeze-scented cellar, it is bottled at cask strength to create a sweet and gorgeous newborn. (From the manufacturer’s website)

Newborn is a whisky that is still in the process of maturing, which means that it has not yetbeen bottled yet. Newborn is a whisky that is still in the process of maturing, which is much younger than the whisky that has been stored for more than three years that is generally distributed around the world.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaSweet aroma of maple with a hint of charred oak
TasteYouthful mouthfeel followed by malt sweetness and green apple freshness
AftertasteA spicy cinnamon taste that lingers on the tongue

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content58% 
by alcoholNewborn Whisky
Barrel typeAmerican white oak barrels
Number of bottles soldNot disclosed
Suggested retail price3,300 yen (tax included)
Release dateDecember 7, 2018

Newborn is a young whisky that is still in the process of maturing

(less than 3 years old).

5. Awards

Best Newcomer, Tokyo Whisky & Spirits Competition 2019

6. Price

6-1 Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product NameKanosuke Newborn 2018
Suggested retail price3,300 yen (tax included)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around4,500 yen to 5,000 yen per bottle. (*As of April 22, 2021)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

The lowest bid price on Yahoo Auction is 2,600 yen, the highest is 2,600 yen, and the average is 2,600 yen (*Statistics for the past 120 days since April 22, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Sold at mail order sites for around 5,500 yen. (As of 4/22/2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR SHINKAI” , which is operated by this website, a single glass is offered at the following prices: 45ml: 3,960 yen, 30ml: 2,640 yen, 15ml: 1,320 yen.

7. Summary

Bottled at cask strength after 8 months of storage. Therefore, the alcohol content is high and the stimulation is strong. Beautiful amber color when poured into a glass. The texture is thick. Woody, with a hint of malt sweetness.

We also have the 2019 and 2020 peatedversions of the Kanosuke Newborn. We also have the 2019 and 2020 peated versions. The barrels in which they were aged are different, and the flavors are quite different.

Please check out our other articles on Kanosuke Newborn.



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