[Review] YUZA 2023

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Yuza Distillery

“YUZA 2023” was released in early May from the Yuza Distillery of Kinryu Co. in Yamagata Prefecture.

The First and Second editions released last year were cask strength, but this year’s YUZA 2023 was bottled at 51% alcohol by volume with water added to make it easier to drink straight.

Although the limited number of bottles has not been announced, it is expected that the number of bottles sold will be higher than that of the First and Second editions due to the fact that the bottling is watered-down.


1. Manufacturer

Kinryu Co.

EstablishmentApril 1950
Head office180-1, Kusakariyachi, Kuromori, Sakata, Yamagata 998-0111
Owned distilleriesYuza Distillery

2. Distillery

Yuza Distillery

Location of distillery 20 Kakujita, Yoshide, Yuza-machi, Akumi-gun, Yamagata 999-8302
Start of operation 2018

Kinryu Co., Ltd. opened its third whisky distillery in the Tohoku region in Yuza-machi, Yamagata Prefecture in 2018.

Yuza-machi is blessed with fresh, clean air and water from the famous Mt. Chokaisan, which has been selected as one of the “100 best water towns” in Japan, and is ideal for producing top quality whisky.

The pot stills used are made by Forsyth, and five fermentation tanks are made of Canadian bay pine. The process and aging methods are also based on Scottish methods, with young whisky not being casked, and only whisky that has been fully matured to its satisfaction is produced, focusing only onsingle malts. Because we are a small distillery that cannot mass-produce whisky, we go to great lengths in every detail to produce the highest quality whisky with the utmost care.

Yuza Distillery Whisky Concept
“TLAS” concept

The whisky produced at the Yuza Distillery is

The concept of the distillery is “TLAS”, which stands for the initials of the above.

The Yuza Distillery is a very small distillery for a whisky distillery, with a site area of approximately 4,550 square meters and a distillery area of approximately 620 square meters. The exterior of the distillery may look small and cute, but the whisky produced here is authentic and of the highest quality. It is a one-of-a-kind Japanese whisky that is produced using traditional methods, but with the Japanese spirit of “monozukuri” (craftsmanship).

Quote from Yuza’s official website

Image source: Yusa Distillery Facebook page

For more information on the Yuza Distillery, see also this article.
[clink url=https://en.jpwhisky.net/4109-2/2_tohoku-2/#2-2_Kinryu_Yuza_Distillery]

3. Product name and photo

YUZA 2023

YUZA 2023

4. Characteristics

“YUZA 2023” is a single malt Japanese whisky that can be considered the “origin” of Yuza Distillery’s house style.
The original whisky is carefully selected from those aged in bourbon casks and has a clean, fruity taste with a sweet, vanilla-like flavor.

Enjoy it as a “staple” of the Yuza Distillery.
Characteristics of aroma and taste: “Clean, sweet and fruity”
Vanilla, honey, and fruity sweet aroma.
The taste is smooth, refined and well-balanced with a fine, clean texture.

4-1. Tasting Notes


Fresh and sweet aroma of pear and apple, with a biscuit-like aroma.

TasteSmooth on the tongue with vanilla sweetness, fresh sweetness of apple and some acidity
AftertasteFresh and sweet, but also malty, with a gentle and long aftertaste

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content51% 
By SakeSingle Malt Japanese Whisky
Cask typeBourbon casks
Content volume700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited quantity
Suggested retail price13,750 yen (tax included)
Release dateMay 24, 2023

5. Awards

No awards received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product nameYUZA 2023
Suggested Retail PriceTax included: 13,750 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale prices on Mercari are around 17,800 to 26,800 yen. (*As of May 24, 2023)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auctions

We were unable to confirm the current listing on Yahoo! Auction. (*As of May 24, 2023)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

We were unable to confirm any listings on mail-order sites. (*As of May 24, 2023)

6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, one glass is offered at 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 introduced on this site, they also hand...

7. Summary

The taste is similar to that of YUZA First Edition, and it is clear that it has evolved from the original. The water content was adjusted at bottling to 51% alcohol by volume, which gives the impression of increased freshness compared to the First Edition. The sweetness from the bourbon barrels combined with the freshness makes it easy to drink without any peculiarities. However, this does not mean that the flavor is thin, but rather that it has a certain amount of body, making it a bottle that can be enjoyed for its depth and variety. It is a very high quality whisky with a true “orthodox” impression. You can strongly feel Yuza Distillery’s “belief” and “craftsmanship”.

■Please check out other articles about Yuza Distillery.

[Review] YUZA Second edition 202...
Japanese Whisky Yuza. Based on the theme of the fruit tree kingdom Yamagata's "fragrance of fertility," it expresses a mellow aroma and a complex, mul...
[Review] YUZA First Edition 2022
Yuza First Edition, the long-awaited first release, has finally been released by Yusa Distillery. A review is provided.

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".

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Japanese Whisky Dictionary