[Review] Kyoda Single Cask 2022 Rum Cask Finish

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Herios Shuzo

This is the second release of the “Kyoda Single Cask” single malt Japanese whisky from the Helios Brewery and Kyoda Distillery. The concept is to “enjoy the character of the cask to the fullest”.

Using English peat malt, the malt whisky was distilled at the Kyoda Distillery in 2019, aged for three years in oak casks, and bottled at cask strength out of the barrel.

It has a rum cask finish, with one cask carefully selected by Master Blender Shigetomo Terukina and post-aged in casks in which “rum” was laid down.

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

Of the limited edition of 525 bottles, [70 bottles sold in Japan] were sold exclusively through the official online store. The previous and second editions were also sold out at the online store, but they have been re-sold several times since then, so if you have missed out on buying one, be sure to “re-release notice”.


1. Manufacturer

Helios Brewery Co.

Establishment 1961
Head office 405 Aza Kyoda, Nago City, Okinawa 905-0024, Japan
Owned distilleryHelios Brewery Distillery

2. Distillery

Kyoda Distillery

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

Helios Brewery, which currently holds six licenses to produce alcoholic beverages, has developed a wide variety of products under the motto of “a sake entertainer rooted in the community” in its pursuit of sake brewing that will last for a hundred years.
The first thing we are particular about in sake brewing is “water.” In search of abundant nature and clean water, the company found Kyoda, Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture, where it has been brewing sake since ancient times. Surrounded by the ancient Yanbaru forest, Kyoda has been called the “water city.” The rain that falls in the forest soaks deep into the earth, storing minerals in the soil, and is slowly released into the river over a long period of time. Helios Brewery’s sake is brewed using pure, natural water from the upper reaches of the river that runs behind the brewery.
The company’s flagship product is “Kura,” an old Awamori sake that has been a long-seller for 30 years since its release in 1991.
A whisky of the same name “Kura” is also available.

■Main History
1961 Taiyo Brewery was established in Naha City. Produces rum made from Okinawan sugarcane.
1963 Helios Brewery established in Naha, Okinawa. Start of whisky production
1969 Company name changed to Helios Brewery Co.
1972 Head office and factory relocated to the current location of Aza Kyoda, Nago City
1991 Utilizing the barrel-aging technology cultivated in the Western-style alcohol business, the company releases KURA, an old-fashioned Awamori aged in oak casks.

The company is a brewery with a long history, including the following Click here for a detailed history of the company.

Image exhibit: Helios Brewery official HP

For more information about the Kyoda distillery, see also here ↓.


3. Product name and photo

KYODA Single Cask 2022 Rum cask finish
KYODA Single Cask 2022 Rum Cask Finish

4. Characteristics

The second “single cask” rum cask finish from the Kyoda distillery.

Malt whisky made with English peat malt and distilled at the Kyoda Distillery in 2019, aged for 3 years in oak casks and bottled at cask strength.
Rum cask finish with one cask carefully selected by Master Blender Shigetomo Terukina and post-aged in casks in which “rum” was laid down.

The sweet aroma from the rum casks that stands out, followed by the exquisite harmony of the smoky aroma from the peat malt that follows. The sweetness of the malt and the deep richness of the malt spread on the palate. Please enjoy Cask No. 4265’s character, brought out to the maximum by the rum cask finish, straight out of the bottle.

Reference: Helios Brewery online store

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaSweet and sour aroma of burnt caramel, toast, and rum raisins.
TasteBrown sugar, candy, salty

Sweet rum aroma gradually fills the nose, followed by mild peat.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content56.9% alcohol by volume
Alcohol categorySingle Malt Japanese Whisky
Cask type

White oak casks, rum casks

Content volume700ml
Number of bottles sold525 bottles (70 bottles sold in Japan)
Suggested retail price15,950 yen (tax included)
Release dateOctober 28, 2022

5. Awards

No awards received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product NameKusuda Single Cask 2022 Rum Cask Finish
Suggested Retail PriceIncluding tax: 15,950 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale price on Mercari is around 30,000 yen. (*As of 11/9/2022)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auction

The item does not appear to be currently listed on Yahoo! Auction. (*As of 11/9/2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

The item does not appear to be currently available on mail order sites. (*As of 11/9/2022)

6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, we offer small quantities such as 1 glass, 45ml: 4,620 yen, 30ml: 3,080 yen, 15ml: 1,540 yen, etc.


7. Summary

The aroma is generally sweet and pronounced. As time goes by, the sweetness becomes more pronounced. The sweetness is the main flavor and the taste is rather heavy, so if you do not like sweetness, we recommend adding a small amount of water. The peat is weak and can be felt only a little in the aftertaste.


The impression has changed drastically since the previous “Kyoda Single Cask 2021” was mainly finished with a fruity sweetness reminiscent of the tropics and a sense of oakiness.

Both the previous and the current one were aged for 3 years and were single cask, but the rum cask in the finish changed the flavor dramatically.

The official website introduces the distillery as “a cask carefully selected by master blender Shigetomo Terukina,” and I personally think it is a distillery that deserves more attention for its well-rounded and easy-drinking flavor.

I personally think it is a distillery that deserves more attention.


■Please take a look at 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.

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".

Misato Ushiwataをフォローする
Japanese Whisky Dictionary