On June 15, 2023, the Kobe Distillery began accepting “Cask Owner” applications.
Matured in bourbon casks for 3 to 4 years or less.
The only casks used for aging are bourbon casks, but you can choose between “95L per cask (bourbon cask)” and “1 unit (2 x 700ml, bourbon cask)”.
The price for 1 barrel of 95L (bourbon barrel) is 950,000 yen, and the price for 1 unit (2 bourbon barrels of 700ml each) is 33,700 yen.
If you purchase 1 barrel of 95L, you will also need to pay taxes and other fees at the time of bottling.
The new pot is available at the Kobe Distillery official online store.
If you are interested, you may want to try this first.
- 1. Purchase period, details and price
- 2. Cask Owner Privileges
- 3. From casking to bottling
- Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky
1. Purchase period, details and price
The malt used is non-peat malt from England.
The casking period is from August 16, 2023 to October 31, 2023.
Due to the production schedule, it is not possible to specify the barrels or to be present at the time of cask filling.
1-1. Purchase Period and Application Method
Sales start: June 15, 2023 (Thursday) 12:00
Sales end: Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 18:00
*Sales will end when the maximum number of applicants has been reached.
Fill out and submit the Owner’s Cask Application Form. Then, make a payment to the designated bank account indicated in the reply e-mail sent to you.
Click here for the application form.
1-2. 1 casks 95L (bourbon casks) 950,000 yen
・Liquor tax, consumption tax, bottling fees and delivery charges are not included (see below).
・The period from 3 to 4 years after cask filling is to be specified.
・A maximum of one barrel per name.
At the time of bottling, fees to be paid separately are as follows.
After receiving your bottling request, we will contact you regarding payment. Bottling and delivery of products will take place after full payment is received. If full payment is not received by the deadline specified by our company, we will refund the original application fee minus a cancellation fee (50% of the original application fee).
10 yen per liter of alcohol multiplied by the alcoholic content
Consumption tax equivalent to the application fee at the time of bottling
Amount required by law
500 yen per bottle (700ml) (excluding tax)
800 yen per case (12 bottles) (excluding Okinawa and remote islands)
50% of application fee
*Bottling fee includes the cost of materials such as labels and bottles.
*Prices are subject to change due to consumption tax and other revisions.
*Shipping is by the case. Please contact us if you need to ship to more than one destination.
*You cannot purchase the keg itself. We will bottle and deliver the original bottle.
Reference: Owner’s Cask Application Form
1-3. 1 unit 700ml x 2 bottles (bourbon casks) 33,700 yen
・Includes liquor tax, consumption tax, bottling costs, and shipping costs.
・Two 700ml bottles (alc.50%) will be delivered 3 years after bottling.
・The bottling date cannot be specified.
・Up to 5 units per name.
■In case of purchase of one unit
・The bottles will be bottled around September 2026 and shipped sequentially.
・The label will be affixed with the distillation date and other information designated by the Kobe Distillery.
・Original labels cannot be created.
*If you purchase a single unit, you cannot specify the maturation period.
2. Cask Owner Privileges
2-1. Privileges common to both one cask and one unit
■Issuance of an owner certificate
2-2. Special benefits for those who purchase a cask
■New pot (200ml) as a gift
■Owner engraved badge
*Engraving is limited to 10 letters of the alphabet. Only the owner’s name can be engraved on the badge. Company or store names are not accepted.
■Tour of Kobe Distillery (up to 2 accompanying persons, once a year)
*Specified date available, to be notified after purchase.
3. From casking to bottling
After applying to become a cask owner, you may be wondering how the purchased sake goes through the process and in what condition it arrives at your hand.
3-1 Cask filling
The casking period is from August 16, 2023 to October 31, 2023.
It is not possible to be present at the time of cask filling or to specify which casks will be used for aging.
3-2 Angel’s Share
Due to changes in temperature and humidity, the water and alcohol content of the whisky in the cask evaporates during maturation, resulting in a gradual decrease in content. This is an essential element of maturation called angel’s share, and the ratio is said to be 2-4% per year, but at the Kobe Distillery, where the maturation environment varies between cold and hot, we expect about 4-5%. The alcohol content is also lower than when the distillate is casked because the alcohol content evaporates more easily than the water content. The alcohol content when casked is 63%, but this too is expected to decrease by 2-3% per year. Since Angel’s Share is a natural process and an essential part of the aging process, the application fee cannot be refunded due to a decrease in content or alcohol content.
3-3 Bottling Period (from 3 years of aging)
・Bottling period: 3 years after casking and up to 4 years after bottling.
・The label must be affixed with the distillation date and other information specified by our company.
*Original labels can be made. Please consult with us about the cost.
・The alcohol content at bottling is basically cask strength, but it can be adjusted to a minimum of 47%.
・All the whisky in the cask is bottled in one batch; it cannot be bottled in more than one batch.
・The maximum storage period after bottling is one month. If any damage or leakage should occur during the storage period, we will refund the corresponding amount of product.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.