[Review] KYODA Single Cask 2021 Cask No.4248

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Herios Shuzo

The malt raw material was brewed and distilled at Helios Brewery and Kyoda Distillery in 2018 and aged for 3 years.
It is released as a Japanese whisky following the previous release, Okinawa’s first single malt whisky, “Kyoda Cask Strength 2020”. This new release will be a single cask and limited to 556 bottles.

The label design features a background that recreates the pre-dawn atmosphere of the mountainous area near the distillery, and the name of the product, adopted from the distillery’s place name “Kyoda” is expressed in strong brush strokes.


The package and label are almost the same as the previous one, and the design is hard to distinguish unless you look closely. The taste is quite different, though, so it would have been nice to have a new design.

It is already sold out at the official online store.


1. Manufacturer

Helios Sake Brewery Co.

Established 1961
Headquarters location 405 Kyoda, Nago City, Okinawa 905-0024, Japan
Owned distilleryHelios Brewery Distillery

2. Distillery

Kyoda Distillery

Location 405, Kyoda, Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture 905-0024, Japan
Start of operation 2016 (Whiskey production resumed)

Helios Brewery, which currently has six different liquor licenses, is developing a wide variety of products under the motto “Liquor entertainer rooted in the community” in pursuit of brewing sake that will last a hundred years.
The first thing we want to focus on in sake brewing is water. In search of rich nature and pure water, we arrived at Kyoda, Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture. Surrounded by the Yambaru forest, which has been around since ancient times, Kyoda has been called the “City of Water”. The Yambaru region, which is humid all year round, receives a lot of rainfall, and the rain that falls on the forest soaks deep into the ground, storing minerals in the soil, and is slowly released into the rivers. Helios Sake Brewery’s sake is brewed using pure natural water from the upper reaches of the river that runs behind the brewery.
Its representative product is “Kura” an old Awamori sake that has been on the market for 30 years since 1991 and is still a long seller.
The company also sells whisky under the same name.

■ Main History
1961 Taiyo Brewing Company was established in Naha City. Produced rum made from sugar cane grown in Okinawa.
1963 Start of whisky production
1969 Changed the company name to Helios Brewery Co.
1972 Moved the head office and factory to the current location in Kyoda, Nago City
1991 Utilizing the barrel-aging technology cultivated in the Western-style alcohol business, the company released “Kura” an old-style Awamori aged in oak barrels.

We are a sake brewer with a long history. Click here for detailed history.

Image credit: Helios Brewery official website

For more information on the Huda Distillery, please see also.


3. Product name and photo

KYODA Single Cask 2021 Cask No.4248 

4. Characteristics

This release is a “single cask” , limited to 556 bottles

Peat malt from the UK This single malt Japanese whisky is made from malt whisky that was prepared and distilled at the Huda Distillery in 2018, and matured in white oak barrels for three years.


Cask No.4248 is characterized by a deep flavor that is revealed when the malt-derived flavors are further refined by the character of the cask. It has a smoky aroma of peat malt on the nose, followed by a rich and deep maturing aroma. In the mouth, the deep richness of the malt spreads out and the lingering sweet aroma of the barrel can be enjoyed for a long time.
Reference: Helios Brewery Online Shop

4-1. Tasting Notes

NoseFloral, elegant, melon, vanilla, brown sugar.
TasteFruity, mildly sweet, chocolate, salty
AftertasteAfter the sweetness, a hint of salty peaty aroma goes through the nose.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content56.8% 
alcohol categorySingle malt Japanese whisky
Barrel typeWhite oak barrels
Number of bottles sold556 bottles
Suggested retail price15,950 yen (tax included)
Release dateDecember 31, 2021

Awards received

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product NameKYODA Single Cask 2021 Cask No.4248
Suggested Retail PriceTax included: 15,950 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is 29,000 yen The resale price on Mercari was confirmed to be 1. (*As of January 24, 2022)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

The product does not appear to be currently on sale at Yahoo Auction. (*As of January 24, 2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Not available on mail order sites. (*As of January 24, 2022) 

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

Bar Shinkai, which is operated by this website, offers 1 cup, 45ml: 4,620 yen 30ml: 3,080 yen, 15ml: 1,540 yen We also offer small quantities such as


7. Summary

The previous “Kyoda Cask Strength 2020” had a strong peaty flavor that made me think it was an Islay. The current “Kyoda Single Cask 2021” has a different taste, with a fruity and sweet finish.
The peat was just a little bit in the aftertaste, and it was sweet from aroma to taste, with a slight saltiness coming out later.

I was surprised to find that the taste was so different, even though both the previous and current releases were aged for three years and were cask strength.

The official description of this cask says that it was carefully selected by Master Blender Shigetomo Terukina, but I feel that this cask has tremendous potential. I personally think this is a distillery that deserves more attention.

Keep an eye out for future releases.


Please take a look at the other articles about “Kyoda”.



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