Kiuchi Hinomaru authentic Japanese Whisky

Style: Authentic Japanese Whisky
Kiuchi Shuzou Ltd, Ibaraki-ken Naka-gun, Japan

The fascinating journey of truly authentic Japanese Whisky**

The category now classified as authentic Japanese Whisky almost never came to be. Japanese distillation of Western-style spirits began in the 1920s, but by the early 1990s the industry seemed destined to fail. Japanese consumers had all but abandoned the mostly lower proof, adjunct riddled, poor quality spirits that dominated the Japanese “whisky” market – these spirits meant to attract customers with low prices and gimmicks had absolutely flopped. The few distilleries that endured this difficult time reverted to producing a facsimile of traditional Scottish whisky, but they too faced economic demise due to sharply increased competition as taxation and duties on imported products lowered.

About 20 years after the collapse of the 1990s, intrepid and visionary Japanese distiller-entrepreneurs sought to try again. This time, unrestrained by tradition or convention or conventional wisdom, with the purpose of creating spirits born of their own, intrinsic ethos.

Their vision: To create flavors and aromas unheard of in traditional whisky by experimenting and innovating along every facet of the process - meticulously exploring how different raw ingredients could be utilized throughout an array of brewing, fermentation, distillation, and wood aging techniques. The artistic and technical execution of this mindset has yielded flavors, aromas, and textures that are simply not available in other realms of whisky.

Adding to the overall identity of Japanese whisky, qualifying distilleries do not exchange stock. All blends, varieties and styles are done in-house. This further drives curiosity, experimentation and innovation. Always with the ultimate goal of expanding the arc of flavor /aroma possibilities.

As you can imagine, the world class status of Kiuchi’s Hitachino Nest beer and sake brewery gives the Kiuchi distillation team unique insights into this new venture. They immediately recognized the special sensory world they could create by using some of their complex high ester producing ale yeasts, the highest quality sake rice varieties {such as Yamadanishiki rice}, and unique types of wood {such as Sakura, the iconic Japanese cherry blossom tree}. Founded in 1823, this is just a starting point for Kiuchi Brewery as they embrace the full creative spectrum envisioned by Japan’s master distillers.


authentic Japanese Whisky**

The category now classified as authentic Japanese Whisky almost never came to be. Japanese distillation of Western-style spirits began in the 1920s, but by the early 1990s the industry seemed destined to fail. Japanese consumers had all but abandoned the mostly lower proof, adjunct riddled, poor quality spirits that dominated the Japanese “whisky” market – these spirits meant to attract customers with low prices and gimmicks had absolutely flopped. The few distilleries that endured this difficult time reverted to producing a facsimile of traditional Scottish whisky, but they too faced economic demise due to sharply increased competition as taxation and duties on imported products lowered.

About 20 years after the collapse of the 1990s, intrepid and visionary Japanese distiller-entrepreneurs sought to try again. This time, unrestrained by tradition or convention or conventional wisdom, with the purpose of creating spirits born of their own, intrinsic ethos.

Their vision: To create flavors and aromas unheard of in traditional whisky by experimenting and innovating along every facet of the process - meticulously exploring how different raw ingredients could be utilized throughout an array of brewing, fermentation, distillation, and wood aging techniques. The artistic and technical execution of this mindset has yielded flavors, aromas, and textures that are simply not available in other realms of whisky.

Adding to the overall identity of Japanese whisky, qualifying distilleries do not exchange stock. All blends, varieties and styles are done in-house. This further drives curiosity, experimentation and innovation. Always with the ultimate goal of expanding the arc of flavor /aroma possibilities.

As you can imagine, the world class status of Kiuchi’s Hitachino Nest beer and sake brewery gives the Kiuchi distillation team unique insights into this new venture. They immediately recognized the special sensory world they could create by using some of their complex high ester producing ale yeasts, the highest quality sake rice varieties {such as Yamadanishiki rice}, and unique types of wood {such as Sakura, the iconic Japanese cherry blossom tree}. Founded in 1823, this is just a starting point for Kiuchi Brewery as they embrace the full creative spectrum envisioned by Japan’s master distillers.

The new creative world of Japan’s Master distillers:

1. Using clear wort to focus on fruity, estery elements of the malt/grain beverage [vs. focus on cereal notes].
2. Prolonged fermentation time to develop more fruity, estery complexity.
3. Use of different complex yeasts [from Bavarian style wheatbeer yeasts to Belgian style ale yeasts].
4. Use of wooden washbacks to increase complexity and ester character.
5. Use of a variety of malts. Including completely unpeated malt to low, medium and heavily peat kilned malt.
6. Use of grains other than barely. Including wheat, rye, and the highest quality sake rice.
7. Use of wood other than the classic American white oak. Including Sakura, Mizunara, sandalwood, cedar, and others.
8. Using a variety of second use wooden casks. Previously filled with white wine, red wine, Shochu spirit, Cognac, Port, Grappa, Madeira, and others.
9. Cultivating barley grains in Japan. Remember that Japan’s climate is completely different from the climate in Scotland, resting in a terroir of it's own.
10. Implementing different distillation techniques and methods to achieve unique results. For example, vacuum distillation helps to eliminate unwelcome flavor and aroma compounds [such as isoamyl acetate and ethyl caproate], at a much lower temperature, and can yield a singularly elegant and exceptional distillate.

** True and authentic Japanese whisky: Brewed and fermented in Japan, distilled and wood aged in Japan, and bottled in Japan.

To celebrate 200 YEARS of KIUCHI BREWERY (1823 -2023)
Kiuchi Sake Brewery was founded in 1823, at the end of the Edo period. Gihei Kiuchi, the village headman of Kounosu Village in Naka Co unty at the time, began brewing sake using surplus rice from the annual tribute. Since then, we have produced a variety of quality sake, including Kikusakari Japanese sake, Hitachino Nest Beer, and Kiuchi Umeshu (plum wine).

日の丸ウイスキー さくらカスク
HINOMARU WHISKY SAKURA CASK

Single malt whisky aged for 6 years in Sakura wood, Japan`s famous cherry blossom tree.
Malt beverage brewed and fermented at Kiuchi Brewery Distilled at Kiuchi` s Nukada Distillery Aged 6 Years.
Enjoy the elegant flavors created by the cherry casks, a symbol of Japan`s beauty.
700ml | 48%alc/vol (96PROOF) | Barcode: 4934418619690

日の丸ウイスキー ポートカスクフィニッシュ
HINOMARU WHISKY PORT CASK FINISH

Single malt whisky aged for 4 years in sherry casks and then aged for another 1 year in port wine casks.
Malt beverage brewed and fermented at Kiuchi Brewery. Distilled at Kiuchi` s Nukada Distillery.
Please enjoy the complex yet stunningly mellow flavors.
700ml | 48%alc/vol (96PROOF) | Barcode: 4934418619706

日の丸ウイスキー The 1st Edition
HINOMARU WHISKY The 1st Edition

Blend of barley malt and wheat grain whisky.
Brewed and fermented at Kiuchi Brewery. Distilled at Kiuchi’s own Nukada Distillery and Yasato Distillery. Agefor over three years in Sherry and Bourbon barrels.
6*700ml | 48%alc/vol (96PROOF) | Barcode: 4 934418 619805





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