[November 24, 2023 release] Single Malt Saburomaru III THE EMPRESS (Saburomaru Distillery)

New Release
New Release
Saburomaru Distillery

“Single Malt Saburomaru III THE EMPRESS,” the fourth in the Single Malt Saburomaru series, will be released by Saburomaru Distillery on November 24, 2023.

Saburomaru Distillery has released information on the release of new products “Saburomaru III THE EMPRESS” and “Saburomaru III THE EMPRESS Cask Strength”.

This is the fourth release following “Saburomaru 0 THE FOOL” released in 2020, “Saburomaru I THE MAGICIAN” released in 2021, and “Saburomaru II THE HIGH PRIESTESS” released in 2021.

This will be the first single malt whisky from the Saburomaru Distillery to use Islay peat.

Lottery applications for “Saburomaru III THE EMPRESS Cask Strength” have been accepted at the Wakatsuru Shuzo online store “Me and ALC” since Thursday, November 17. Information on how to apply for the lottery will be provided later in the article.

1. Single Malt Saburomaru III THE EMPRESS

Earth, wood, and water. Think about a distant sacred place.

In 2020, Saburomaru Distillery began brewing with peat-smoked malt from Islay for the first time. Islay peat dug near the sea has a salty, gentle yet long aftertaste, and has a variety of expressions different from conventional inland peat. Furthermore, the wooden barrels introduced in this year enabled a variety of fermentations to be carried out using unique lactic acid bacteria. 

The peat earth that has been accumulated over many years, the wooden vats that are hundreds of years old, and the water from Saburomaru that has been refined for decades come together in harmony, giving the whisky a rich color.

Takahiko Inagaki, Saburomaru Distillery

Reference: Single Malt Whisky “Saburomaru III THE EMPRESS” released | Saburomaru Distillery

The feature of Saburomaru III is that it is the first single malt whisky made with “Islay peat malt” for the first time at Saburomaru Distillery. Islay peat produces a distinctive smoky aroma, and unlike its inland counterparts, it is characterized by a sea air and softness that reminds one of the sea.

Label design

The label design for this work is “The Empress”.

The motif is based on Tarot cards (consisting of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana), with the third of the 22 Major Arcana, THE EMPRESS, adopted. It represents the trinity of the fertile earth by Ira Pete, the wooden vat that has been aged for many years, and the water that has been carefully polished.

The work was created by Yukie Kano, a paper cut artist from Himi City.

Product specs

Product name

Single Malt Saburomaru III
THE EMPRESS Cask Strength

Single Malt Saburomaru III

Distinction by alcohol Single Malt
Japanese Whisky
Single Malt
Japanese Whisky
Ingredients Malt
(Heavily Aired 50ppm)
Cask Type
Number of bottles 1800 bottles 12,000 bottles
Alcohol content  60% 48%
Price 19,800 yen (including tax) 14,850 yen (tax included)
Manufactured at Saburomaru Distillery
Manufacturer Wakatsuru Shuzo Co., Ltd.

2. About Saburomaru Distillery

The only whisky distillery in Hokuriku, established in 1952.
They obtained a license to produce whisky in 1952 amidst the postwar rice shortage. Since then, they have been brewing sake in winter and distilling whisky during the rest of the year. They make 200 bottles of whisky a year. Plans are underway to make 300 bottles in the future.

Since the beginning of our operations, we have been committed to smoky whisky and brew our whisky with Islay peated malt and more recently peated malt from Toyama Prefecture. In order to preserve the natural flavor of the whisky, it is not cool-filtered or colored in any way.


In 2018, the company installed Miyake Industries Co.,Ltd. newest mashtan.
In 2019, he collaborated with a local company, OIGO WORKS Co., Ltd., to develop a cast pod still, “ZEMON”.
In 2020, one wooden vat fermenter was installed.

A major difference from other distilleries is the use of the world’s first cast pod still, “ZEMON”.

There are three major features.
(1)The casting method enables mold forming and quick delivery. Also, sufficient wall thickness can be provided at low cost, and a longer service life can be expected.
(2)Various qualities of alcohol can be achieved by free molding by casting. In addition, the unitization of individual parts allows for replacement of worn parts only and expansion of functions.
(3)It is made of a copper-tin alloy containing about 90% copper and 8% tin. Tin is a high-grade metal that is traded at about three times the price of copper.
Tin has been used since ancient times to mellow the taste of alcohol and has been used in alcohol vessels and shochu coolers. ZEMON contributes to the production of high quality spirits through the dual effects of copper and tin.

Reference: Wakatsuru Shuzo official website


3. Single malt whisky released in the past from Saburomaru Distillery

3-1. Single Malt Saburomaru II THE HIGH PRIESTESS

[Review] Single Malt Saburomaru ...
Distilled in a cast pot still "ZEMON". It is round and smooth on the tongue, with a sweet and sour taste, but ...
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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