[Review] Mars Malt Le Papillon Single Cask “P.memnon” – features, taste, list price, where to buy?

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Hombo ShuzoTsunuki Distillery

Papillon series from Honbo Shuzo. Le Papillon Single Cask “P.memnon”,features, price and how to purchase.


1.About Mars Malt Le Papillon series

The “Mars Malt Le Papillon” series is a series of whisky casks that expresses the splendor of Japan’s seasonal climate and its natural environment, which forms the environment in which whisky is matured, using butterflies that inhabit Japan as a motif.
This is the 16th release in the Papillon series, with the original spirit distilled at the Mars Tsunuki distillery in 2019 and aged in sherry casks in the Yakushima aging cellar.

 Product NameCaskNumber of bottlingsPrice (tax included)
1st ReleaseS. divinus barineAmerican White Oak599 bottles10,450 yen
2nd ReleaseGraphium sarpedonBourbon barrel215 bottles9,900 yen
3rd ReleaseAporia hippiaAmerican White Oak585 bottles9,900 yen
4th ReleaseHebomoia glaucippeBourbon barrel182 bottles12,100 yen
5th ReleasePapilio maackii Ménétriés,American White Oak560 bottles11,000 yen
 6th ReleaseCyrestis thyodamasSherry cask464 bottles11,000 yen
7th ReleaseLuehdorfia japonicaAmerican White Oak576 bottles13,200 yen
8th ReleaseAcytolepis puspa 469 bottles12,100 yen
9th ReleaseAnthocharis cardaminesSherry Butt643 bottles12,100 yen
10th ReleaseInachis ioSherry Bat635bottles12,100 yen
11th ReleasePapilio helenusBourbon Cask433 bottles11,000 yen
12th ReleaseMars Malt Le Papillon, Takahide Komatsu EditionAmerican White Oak365 bottles297,000 yen
13th ReleaseC. brillantinusUmeshu (plum wine) barrel567 bottles13,200 yen
14th ReleaseLeptidea amurensisBourbon cherry head cask567 bottles12,100 yen
15th ReleasePlebejus argyrognomonSherry cask818 bottles14,300 yen
16thReleasePapilio memnonSherry cask621 bottles15,400 yen

All the whiskies in this series are bottled in single or double cask, so the limited number of bottles each time is very small, making it one of the rarest and most scarce Japanese whiskies.

For product details and past series, click here.

2.About Mars Tsunuki Distillery

Mars Tsunuki Distillery

Location6594, Kaseda-Tsunuki, Minami-Satsuma-shi, Kagoshima 899-3611
Start of operation2016

Tsunukiin Kaseda, Minamisatsuma City. “The Mars Tsunuki Distillery”, the southernmost whisky distillery on the mainland, is located in the green mountains southwest of Satsuma Peninsula.

Tsunuki, located in the southwestern part of the Satsuma Peninsula, is in a long basin along the Kaseda River, a tributary of the Manose River. Surrounded by Mt. Kurata (475m) to the east and Mt. Nagaya (513m) to the west, the basin-like topography makes the summers hot and the winters cold, which are extremely severe in South Satsuma.
The area has a natural environment that is a “blessing from nature” with good water resources (Mt. Kurata spring water), and is known as “Tsunuki Mikan” (mandarin orange), which is cultivated by effectively utilizing the mountain slope.
Blessed with a mild climate and good water resources, Tsunuki is the birthplace of the Honbo Sake Brewery. It has been more than 100 years since the brewery started making shochu using Satsuma sweet potatoes, one of Satsuma’s representative specialties.
Reference: Mars Tsunuki Distillery official website

3.Product name and photo

MARS MALT Le Papillon Single Cask “Nagasakia Swallowtail

MARS MALT Le Papillon Single Cask P.memnon


Mars Malt Le Papillon” is a series of whiskies that expresses the splendor of Japan’s seasonal climate and natural environment, which forms the environment in which whisky is matured, using butterflies that live in Japan as a motif. The theme of this product is the large butterfly “Nagasakia swallowtail butterfly,” whose name comes from the fact that Siebold collected it in Nagasaki, and the barrels were selected based on the image of a female with whitened wings, which can be seen in the Nansei Islands in Japan, sucking honey from hibiscus flowers, which is a typical tropical scene. This single cask single malt whiskey is a gem of a single cask single malt whiskey, distilled in 2019 at the Mars Tsunuki distillery and bottled at natural cask strength and non-chill filtered from a single cask aged in sherry casks at the Yakushima aging cellar.

Reference: Hombo Shuzo official online store / Mars Malt Le Papillon Single Cask.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaPeat, gateau chocolate, leather goods, minerals, lemon, clove, apple when watered
TasteBonfire-like smoke, dark cherries, almonds, smoked salmon roe, apple pie.
AftertasteSherry bitterness and sweetness lingers long after the peat is slightly gone.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content59% alcohol by volume
By SakeSingle Malt Japanese Whiskey
Cask typeSherry cask
Content volume700ml
Number of bottles sold621 bottles
Suggested retail price15,400 yen (tax included)
Release dateMarch 2024

5. Awards

No awards received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product nameMars Malt Le Papillon Single Cask “Nagasakia Swallowtail
Suggested Retail PriceTax included: 15,400 yen

6₋2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale prices on Mercari are around 38,000 yen to 50,000 yen (before official lottery sales). (As of 3/19/2024).

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

There are currently no confirmed resales on Yahoo! Auctions. (As of 3/19/2024) 6-4.

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

マルス モルト ル パピヨン ナガサキアゲハ 津貫蒸留所 屋久島エイジング シェリーカスク シングルカスク

(*as of 3/19/2024)

6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

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

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 handle domestic gin and beer. Original cocktails and fresh fruit cocktails are also popular. There is also a wide variety of food available for the first time.

7. Summary

The Papillon series is now Tsunuki Sherry Cask Yakushima Aged.

The list is shown at the beginning, but due to the small number of bottlings, the resale price of the Papillon series has risen considerably, and some of the past products are currently being sold for over 100,000 yen (Mercari, Yahoo! Auctions).

The series will continue in the future, so watch out for the next installment.

■Please check out our other articles on the Hombo Sake Shuzo and Papillon series.

[Review] MARSMALT Le Papillon C....
This whisky is non-peated and has no peculiarities, and you can enjoy the full flavor of plum wine barrel aging. It has a sweet, sour, and astringent taste.
[Review] Mars Malt Le Papillon M...
Mars Malt Le Papillon" is a series that uses butterflies that live in Japan as a motif to express the beauty of Japan's seasonal climate and natural enviro...
[Review] MARSMALT Le Papillon Do...
Distilled at Mars Shinshu Distillery in December 2015. Bottled in February 2022 with vatting of two barrels, one with cherry wood for the mirror plate and the o...

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