[Review] YUZA Third Edition 2023

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Yuza Distillery

YUZA Third edition 2023 is the latest release from the Yuza distillery in Yamagata, and the third in the ‘Edition’ series. Review of this limited edition, which also uses rare Mizunara oak casks.



Kinryu Co.

For a long time after opening, the company’s main business was shochu production, and it was only in 2018 that it obtained a whisky production licence.

The company’s signature shochu product, Sou, has a varied line-up, including one made with locally grown rice from Shonai and a blend of long-stored shochu.

Click here to see the line-up of Kinryu Co.

Established.April 1950
Head office address.180-1, Kusakariyachi, Kuromori, Sakata, Yamagata 998-0111
Owned distilleriesYuza distillery


Yuza Distillery

This is the third whisky distillery in the Tohoku region, opened by Kinryu Co. in 2018 in Yuza-cho, Yamagata Prefecture.

Yuza-cho is blessed with fresh, clean air and water from the subsoil of the famous Mt Chokaisan, which has been selected as one of the ‘100 best water towns ‘, and is suitable for making top-quality whisky.

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

Yuza Distillery whisky
Concept “TLAS”.

The whiskies produced at the Yusa distillery are,
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 4,550 m2 and a distillery area of 620 m2. The exterior may look small and cute, but the whisky produced is authentic and of the highest quality. It is a one-of-a-kind Japanese whisky produced using traditional methods, but with the Japanese approach to ‘monozukuri’ (craftsmanship).

Quote from the official Yuza website.

Image credit:Yuza Distillery official website

Address.20 Kakujita, Yoshide, Yuza-machi, Akumi-gun, Yamagata 999-8302
Start of operation2018

For more information on the Yuza Distillery, see also this article.

Yuza Distillery | Japanese Whi...
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

3. Product name and photo

YUZA Third edition 2023

4. Characteristics.

Third edition of the edition series.
The rare Japanese oak ‘Mizunara’ casks are used, and bourbon and sherry casks are also vatted.
The fruity base is typical of the Yusa distillery, with pleasant vanilla and a slight peat aroma. The complex taste is a combination of the heavy oak-derived flavour and the mellowness.

Reference: Yuza Distillery product page

4-1. Tasting notes


Vanilla, pear and peach, Mizunara-derived spiciness, a little peat, complex but clean.

TasteSoft acidity and honey-like sweetness, Quercus woody, warm spicy.
Aftertaste.Low bitterness, long finish with a slow spread of spicy sweetness.

4-2.Product specifications

Alcohol content55%.
alcohol categorySingle malt Japanese whisky
Cask typeMizunara, Bourbon and Sherry casks
Number of bottles soldUndisclosed
Suggested retail price16,500 yen (tax included)
Release dateNov 2023


5. Awards received

No awards received at present.


6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameYUZA Third Edition 2023
Suggested retail priceTax included: ¥16,500

6-2 Resale price on Mercari

Resale on Merc ari is currently not confirmed. (As of 8/11/2023).

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auctions

There are currently no confirmed resales on Yahoo Auctions. (as of 8 Nov 2023)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Some mail order sites were confirmed and some fixed price items were found, but many seem to be limited endings (as of *2023/11/08).

6-5.Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At BAR Shinkai, where this website is operated, one glass, 45 ml: 5,610 yen, 30 ml: 3,740 yen, 15 ml: 1,870 yen, etc. are offered in small quantities.

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 Third Edition of YUZA has finally been released, and while it retains the characteristics of the previous YUZA editions, a new element, Mizunara oak, has been added, giving it a more massive feel.

The new edition retains the distilling techniques and YUZA’s character while expressing the Mizunara element, and the future blending techniques of the Yusa distillery are likely to attract a lot of attention.

Please also see our other articles on Yuza Distillery.

[Review] YUZA 2023
This single malt Japanese whisky is the "origin" of Yuza Distillery's house style. It is characterized by its clean, fruity taste and sweet vanilla-li...
[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.

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
Japanese Whisky Dictionary