Whisky production started in Japan in 1923 at the Yamazaki distillery, founded by the father of Japanese whisky, Masataka Taketsuru. Taketsuru-san introduced the distilling techniques and skills he had acquired during his studies at Glasgow and time spent at several distilleries in Scotland (Hazelburn and Longmorn).
Japan is currently home to over 10 operating single malt distilleries, many of which have opened in the last few years. Like Scotland, Japan is home to a handful of distilleries now closed, notably Karuizawa and Hanyu. The Japanese style is varied, with blends, single malt's and grain whiskies all being produced there. From light and floral through to heavily sherry influenced, there are also peated expressions made here with varying levels of smokyness. Overall, these whiskies are elegant and refined, and at times the use of native Mizunara White Japanese Oak imparts a unique and perfumed woody aroma and taste.
The popularity and demand for Japanese whiskies has grown substantially in recent years, leading to shortages of supply worldwide.
Japanese Whisky — Mars Whisky
Mars Iwai 'Tradition' 40%
Aged in a combination of ex Bourbon and ex Sherry Casks, as well as some fresh Mizunara casks, which give this whisky from the Mars Shinshu distillery a rich and full bodied quality. There are flavours of sweet honey and toasty malt initially with burnt sugar notes and even touches of orange marmalade. The finish is warming with a lingering ciga...
Mars Iwai Japanese Whisky 40%
This blended whisky form Mars Shinshu Distillery has been aged in a combination of Bourbon, Sherry and American white oak casks. This whisky is soft and gentle, with notes sweet pear and dark cacao. The palate offers up notes of dried fig, ginger cookies and honey milk.
Mars Maltage 'Cosmo' 43%
Aged in a combination of ex Bourbon and ex Sherry casks, 'Cosmo' is the name of a mountain in the Japanese Central Alps close to the Mars Whisky Distillery. It has a bright colour with a sweet aroma of ripe fruits and sweet spices. There are flavours of vanilla custard, honey and caramel to taste, finishing with notes of cinnamon and a hint of s...