[Review] Single Malt Komagatake 9 Years Old Small Batch 2024

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Hombo Shuzokomagatake Distillery

Review of Mars Shinshu Komagatake Distillery’s limited edition Single Malt Komagatake 9 Year Small Batch 2024. Characteristics, prices, and how to purchase are explained.

Komagatake 9 Year Old Small Batch 2023 won the Best Japanese Single Malt (Japan’s highest award) Single Malt Category (Small Batch) at the WWA.

This year’s product won the Category Winner in the Single Malt category (small batch, 12 years or less).


1. What is Hombo Shuzo Co.,Ltd.

“Hombo Shuzo Co.,Ltd.” is a Kagoshima Prefecture company that mainly produces shochu (distilled spirit). It has a long history in whisky, having obtained a license for whisky production in 1949.

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

2. What is Mars Komagatake Distillery?

The distillery is Mars Shinshu Distillery, located in Miyata Village, Nagano Prefecture.

The name has been changed to “Komagatake Distillery” since March 2024.

Distillery nameMars Komagatake 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. Later, as Japanese whisky began to be appreciated worldwide, we decided to resume distilling in 2009, when the demand for whisky was on the recovery trend, and started distilling again in 2010. The company re-started in February 2011.
In September 2020, it was completely renovated for the first time in 35 years. The investment is approximately 1.2 billion yen.

In May 2019, a new whisky distillation building (including a barrel cellar) was built to renovate aging facilities, improve the barrel cellar facilities with a view to increasing whisky production, and provide tours of the whisky making process, as well as a visitor building to sell original whisky and merchandise.
The new whisky distillation building has a total floor area of 1,996 square meter (including the barrel cellar, which will hold approximately 2,500 barrels), and the visitor’s building has a floor area of 746 square meter.

Reference: Hombo Shuzo official website

■Production capacity: 1.1 tons of malt per day
■Production capacity of malt malt: 1.1 t/day
■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, and a first distillation kettle (relocated)

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

Shinshu Distillery | Japanese ...
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

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

Single Malt Komagatake 9 years old small batch 2024
Single Malt Komagatake 9 years Small Batch 2024

4. Single Malt Komagatake 9years Small Batch 2024 characteristics

Limited edition of 227 single malt whiskies
Miyata Village, Kamiina-gun, Nagano Prefecture, is located at the foot of Komagatake Mountain in the Japanese Alps. Komagatake distillery is located in a quiet forest at an altitude of 798m, surrounded by good quality water and rich nature.
Single Malt Komagatake AGED 9 YEARS Small Batch” is a rare single malt whisky, which is made by carefully selecting, vatting, and bottling several barrels of malt whisky aged for more than 9 years in the cool environment of Shinshu.

Reference: Single Malt Komagatake AGED 9 YEARS Small Batch | Japanese Whiskey | Hombo Shuzo Official Website (hombo.co.jp )

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaSweet chestnut, Mont Blanc, apricot, key lime pie
TasteDeep oak and rich sweetness, with a hint of peat to balance.
AftertasteOaky and long with sweetness.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol Content50% alcohol by volume
DistillateSingle malt Japanese whisky
Cask typeBourbon barrels / American white oak
Content volume700ml
Number of bottles sold227 bottles
Suggested Retail Price26,400 yen (including tax)
Release dateApril 2024

5. Awards

[World Whisky Award] Category Winner, single malt category (small batch, under 12 years old).

6. List price and online price

6-1. Suggested Retail Price

Product nameSingle Malt Komagatake 9 Years Old Small Batch 2024
Suggested Retail Price26,400 yen (including tax)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale prices on Mercari could not be confirmed; the 2023 model is priced around 40,000 yen. (*As of April 10, 2024)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

There do not appear to be any listings on Yahoo! Auctions at this time. (*As of April 10, 2024)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

No sales were confirmed on mail order sites. (*As of April 10, 2024)

6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, one glass is offered at 45 ml: 6,930 yen, 30 ml: 4,620 yen, and 15 ml: 2,310 yen.

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

This is a product that should be enjoyed straight rather than watered down. The age of the original sake on the bottle shows that the oldest bottle was made in 1992, which means that 30-year-old sake was used in the making of this product. Let’s look forward to the next year’s release of the luxurious Komagatake 9-Year Small Batch 2024.

■Please be sure to check out our other articles on Hombo Shuzo and Mars Whisky.

[Review]Single Malt Komagatake 2...
The 2023 Edition is a single malt whiskey bottled in a limited edition 2023 bottle with a balanced vatting of bourbon barrel, sherry cask, and port cask aged ba...
[Review] Single Malt Komagatake ...
It is brewed at Minami Shinshu Beer Komagatake Brewery using plenty of hops, and is brewed in empty barrels with India Pale Ale (IPA) lying down.

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.

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".

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Japanese Whisky Dictionary