Yamazakura Fine Blended Whisky 40% 700ml
Distillery: Sasanokawa Shuzo Co. Asaka Distillery
Orange blossoms on the nose, followed by oak, caramel, and fresh orchard fruit on the palate. Bringing serene balance and depth, this is a bottle from Japan’s new generation distilleries.
“Yamazakura” - Sasanokawa Shuzo Co. chose the name Yamazakura to launch the distillery’s premium whisky range because it is a combination of two important Japanese symbols in culture and society: Yama is the Japanese term for mountain, signifying the strength and poise of the spirit, while Sakura refers to cherry-trees, to relate the ephemeral beauty of the stunning blossom to the quality and sophistication of the whisky.
About the Distillery:
Sasanokawa Shuzo’s sake and shochu making dates back all the way to 1710. However, almost 200 years later, they decided to dive into the whisky making market in 1946 thus setting up Asaka Distillery. Their quality was able to stand toe to toe with large rivals like Nikka and Suntory in the northeast region of Japan. Most importantly, Sasanokawa Shuzo were also the ones who famously helped Ichiro Akuto (Ichiro’s Malt / Hanyu Distillery) save his whisky stocks and allowing him to build the Ichiro’s Malt brand.
The distillery’s mash tun and 5 washbacks are all stainless steel. Unlike other Japanese whisky distilleries using imported Forsyths stills, Asaka went with two copper pot stills made right here in Japan by Miyake Seisakusho. The wash still is 2000L, and spirit still 1000L, both using percolators for heating. The whisky is mostly non-peated and will be rested in primarily bourbon casks but also some sherry and wine casks.
It's worth noting that the Chichibu Distillery and the Asaka Distillery have a relationship. Ichiro Akuto-san asked Sasanokawa Shuzo to store the leftover casks of the defunct Hanyu Distillery until he could get Chichibu up and running. So basically, Chichibu owes Asaka a favor! Ichiro Akuto-san brought back most of the casks and released his now highly sought after first release, the Ichiro’s Malt Series (otherwise known as the card series!). In fact the Sasakanokawa Shuzo facility still has Hanyu casks in storage!
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