[Review]Single Malt Komagatake 2023 Edition

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Hombo Shuzokomagatake Distillery

Single Malt Komagatake 2023 Edition. Newly released by Hombo Shuzo Mars whisky. Features, price, and how to buy.

The Komagatake Limited Edition has been released annually since 2018.
This year’s limited edition is 51,642 bottles, which is a bit more than that, so it’s relatively easy to get your hands on.

The product name was “Limited Edition” until 2020, but the word “limited” (limited, special, slight) was removed and the product name was changed to “edition” due to the significantly increased number of limited editions from the one released in 2021.


1. What is Honbo Shuzo Co.

Hombo Shuzo Corporation, which manufactures Single Malt Komagatake 2023 Edition, is a Kagoshima Prefecture company that mainly produces shochu. It has a long history in whisky, having obtained a license for whisky production in 1949.

Company NameHombo Shuzo Brewery Co.
Head office location891-0122; 3-27 nanei, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture
Owned distilleriesMars Shinshu Distillery, Mars Tsunuki Distillery

What is Mars Shinshu Distillery?

The distillery that produces Single Malt Komagatake 2023 Edition is Mars Shinshu Distillery, located in Miyata Village, Nagano Prefecture.

Distillery nameMars Shinshu Distillery
Location4752-31 Miyata-mura, Kamiina-gun, Nagano 399-4301
Start of operation1985

In 1949, Hombo Shuzo, which had been striving to make shochu, a Japanese distilled spirit, in Kagoshima, obtained a license to produce whisky. Since then, the company has held on to the dream of “someday making real whisky that takes full advantage of the Japanese climate.
After several years of whisky production in Kagoshima, in 1960, he established the Mars Yamanashi Winery, a factory for wine and whisky production in Yamanashi. Then, in order to engage in whisky production in earnest, he searched for an even more ideal location.

The natural conditions for whisky making are very demanding: cold climate with clean air, moderate humidity, and good quality water.
In 1985, after searching for land that met these conditions, Mars Shinshu Distillery was established at an altitude of 798 meters at the foot of Komagatake Mountain in the Central Alps, Nagano Prefecture, in search of the best environment for whisky making.
In 1992, distillation was halted due to sluggish demand for whisky. In 2009, when Japanese whisky was beginning to be appreciated worldwide and demand for whisky was recovering, the distillery decided to resume distilling and restarted in February 2011.
In September 2020, the distillery will undergo a complete renewal for the first time in 35 years. The investment will be approximately 1.2 billion yen.

From May 2019, renovation of existing facilities and equipment, including renovation of aging facilities, improvement of barrel storage facilities with a view to increasing whisky production, and construction of a whisky distillation building (including barrel storage) for the purpose of providing tours of whisky production, and a visitor building for the purpose of selling original whisky and goods.
The new whisky distillation building has a total floor area of 1,996m2 (including the barrel cellar, which will hold approximately 2,500 barrels), and the visitor’s building has a floor area of 746m2.
Reference: Hombo Brewery official website

Production capacity: 1.1 tons of malted barley per day
■Manufacturing capacity: approximately 700L/day, approximately 185KL/year (planned for FY2020)
Main facilities: 1 malt crusher, 1 mash tun reuter (saccharification tank) 6KL, 3 stainless steel fermentation tanks 6KL, 3 Douglas fir wooden fermentation tanks (relocated) 6KL, first distillation kettle (relocated)

For more information about Mars Shinshu Distillery, please see also here↓.


3. photos of the bottles and the website where you can buy them

Single Malt Komagatake 2023 Edition
Single Malt Komagatake 2023 Edition

Features of Single Malt Komagatake 2023 Edition

Single Malt Komagatake is produced at the Mars Shinshu Distillery, located at the foot of Mt. Komagatake in the Central Alps, which is surrounded by abundant nature and high-quality water.
2023 Edition” is a single malt whisky bottled in a limited edition of 2023, which is a well-balanced vatting of bourbon barrels, sherry casks, and port casks.
Enjoy the rich, tea-like aroma and harmonious, full-bodied flavor reminiscent of ripe persimmons.
Reference: Single Malt Komagatake 2023 Edition | Japanese whisky | Hombo Shuzo Official Website

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaApricot, vanilla, milk chocolate
TasteFresh sourness and bitterness of grapefruit, richness and sweetness of chocolate
AftertasteFragrant and sweet aroma of baked sweets and a fresh and fresh aftertaste

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content50% alcohol by volume
alcohol categorySingle malt Japanese whisky
Cask typeBourbon Barrel, Sherry Cask, Port Cask, etc.
Number of bottles sold51,642 bottles
Suggested retail price8,800 yen (tax included)
Release dateEarly September 2023

5. Awards

No awards received at this time.

6. List price and online price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product nameSingle Malt Komagatake 2023 Edition
Suggested retail price8,800 yen (including tax)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale price on Mercari is around 11,000 yen. (*As of 9/13/2023)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auction

There currently appear to be no listings on Yahoo! Auctions. (*As of 9/13/2023)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

The product is also sold at mail order sites for around 8,800 yen. (*as of 9/13/2023)


6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, oneglass is offered at 45ml: 2,970 yen, 30ml: 1,980 yen, and 15ml: 990 yen.


7. Summary

The barrel composition is the same as last year, using mainly bourbon, sherry, and port barrels, so there are no major changes. This year’s edition does not have such a strong bitterness, and the overall impression is more sweetness. With the passage of time, it has a sweet aroma like vanilla or baked sweets.

Please check out our other articles on Hombo Shuzo Mars whisky.




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.

Ryuhei Oishi

Bartender at bar Shinkai Toranomon, born in Hokkaido.
After working at a restaurant in Tokyo, became a certified sommelier by the Japan Sommelier Association.
I became interested in Japanese whiskey, of which he had little knowledge, and started working at bar Shinkai. I went to distilleries to talk to the distillers and joined JWD to share their passion and information as a bartender.

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Japanese Whisky Dictionary