[Review] Mars Malt Le Papillon Double Cask ‘Miyamasijimi’.

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Hombo Shuzokomagatake Distillery

Mars Malt Le Papillon Double Cask ‘Miyamasijimi’,features, price and how to buy.


1. About the Mars Malt Le Papillon series

The Mars Malt Le Papillon series expresses the seasonal climate of Japan, which forms the environment in which whisky is matured, and the splendour of its natural environment, using butterflies that inhabit Japan as a motif.
This is the 15th in the Papillon series and uses two casks of sherry cask-matured malt spirit distilled at the Mars Shinshu distillery in 2015.

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

For product details and past series, click here.

2.About Mars Shinshu Distillery

The Hombo Shuzo brewery, which had been striving to produce the Japanese distilled spirit shochu in Kagoshima, obtained a licence to produce whisky in 1949. Since then, the company has held on to the dream of one day producing genuine whisky that makes the most 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. He then sought an even more ideal location to engage in whisky production in earnest.

The natural conditions for whisky production are very demanding: the region is cold with clear air, but also blessed with moderate humidity and good quality water.
After searching for a site that met these conditions, the Mars Shinshu Distillery was established in 1985 at an altitude of 798 m at the foot of Mt Komagatake in the Central Alps, Nagano Prefecture, in search of the optimum environment for whisky making.
Distilling was suspended in 1992 due to a slump in demand for whisky. Later, in 2009, when Japanese whisky was beginning to be appreciated worldwide and demand for whisky was recovering, the distillery decided to resume distilling and started again in February 2011.
In September 2020, the distillery was completely renovated for the first time in 35 years. The investment was approximately 1.2 billion yen.
From May 2019, renovation of existing facilities and equipment, including a new whisky distillation building (including a barrel cellar) for the purpose of refurbishing ageing equipment and improving the barrel cellar facilities with a view to increasing whisky production, and whisky production tours, and a new visitor building for the purpose of selling original whisky and goods.
The new whisky distillation building has a total floor area of 1,996 m2 (including the barrel cellar, which will hold approximately 2,500 barrels) and the visitor building has a floor area of 746 m2.
Reference: Hombo Brewery official website.

Production capacity: 1.1 t/day of raw malt.
Production capacity: approx. 700 litres/day, approx. 185 kl/year (planned for FY2020).
Main equipment: 1 malt crusher, 1 mash tun reuter (saccharification tank) 6kl x 1, 3 stainless steel fermentation tanks 6kl x 3, 3 Douglas fir wooden fermentation tanks (relocated) 6kl x 3, first distillation kettle (relocated).

3. Product name and photograph

MARS MALT Le Papillon Double Cask Miyamasijimi

MARS MALT Le Papillon Double Cask P.argyrognomon

4. Characteristics

This product is themed on the Reverdin’s Blue, a butterfly of the Reverdin’s Blue family that is found in a limited area in central Honshu, and was vatted from two casks matured in sherry casks to evoke its blue-purple colour, which can be compared to the blue jewels of the deep mountains.
This double cask single malt whisky is a gem of a double cask single malt whisky, bottled at natural cask strength and non-chill filtered from the original malt spirit distilled at the Mars Shinshu distillery in 2016.

In August 2022, the endangered butterfly Reverdin’s Blue was confirmed to be living in Miyata Village, Nagano Prefecture, where the Mars Shinshu distillery is located, and subsequent research revealed it to be one of the largest breeding grounds for the species in Japan. It is a small, dainty whisky butterfly found mainly in central Honshu, and its blue-purple wings as it flies through the woods are likened to the blue jewellery of the deep mountains.” This whisky is a double cask single malt whisky, vatted with two selected barrels of sherry cask-matured malt spirit, inspired by the image of the Reverdin’s Blue Whale dancing through the forest.

Reference: Hombo Shuzo official online shop / Mars Malt Le Papillon Double Cask Blue

4-1. Tasting notes

Aroma. Marmalade, raisins, pudding, sweet spices.
Taste Dark chocolate, plums, raisins, cinnamon.
Aftertaste. Sweet and sour on the nose, followed by a spicy aftertaste.

4-2.Product specifications

Alcohol content 61%.
alcohol category Single malt Japanese whisky
Cask type Sherry cask (cask numbers: 3368 and 3441)
Content volume 700ml
Number of bottles sold 818 bottles
Recommended retail price 14,300 yen (tax included)
Release date Nov. 2023


5. Awards received

No awards received at present.


6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Name of product. Mars Malt Le Papillon Double Cask Miyamasijimi
Capacity. 700ml
Suggested retail price Tax included: 14,300 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale on Merc ari is before the official lottery sales, but is around ¥64,000. (as of 7/11/2023)

6-3.Yahoo Auctions Sold Price

There are currently no confirmed resales on Yahoo Auctions. (*as of 7/11/2023)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

No current confirmed resales on mail order websites (as of *07/11/2023).

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At BAR Shinkai, which is operated by this website, it is offered in small quantities such as 1 glass, 45 ml: 4,290 yen 30 ml: 2,860 yen, 15 ml: 1,430 yen.

Information about “BAR Shinkai”
Japanese Whisky Dictionary operates three BAR Shingai stores in Minato Ward, Tokyo. In addition to the Japanese whiskeys...

7. Summary

The Papillon series is a double cask bottling, and the number of bottles produced can be said to be a little high for the Papillon series.

However, when viewed as a whole, due to the small number of bottlings, the resale price of the Papillon series has risen considerably, and many of the past products are currently being traded (Mercari and Yahoo! Auctions) for more than 100,000 yen.

The previous two editions were plum wine casks, the last edition was cherry head casks and this edition is sherry cask batting.

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

■Please also see our other articles on the Honbo Brewery 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 ...
[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 Jap...
[Review] MARSMALT Le Papillon Do...
Distilled at Mars Shinshu Distillery in December 2015. Bottled in February 2022 with vatting of two barrels, one with ch...

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.

櫻井 和人

Born in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture
He loves all kinds of luxury goods, and was so impressed by the diversity of craft gin that he decided to become a bartender at the age of 30.
While working as a bartender, he visited BAR Shinkai and joined BAR Shinkai to learn more about the wide variety of Japanese craft whiskeys.
He is now working hard both on site and on the web so that more and more people can enjoy the pleasure of experiencing the best of the finest.

櫻井 和人をフォローする