Those of you who were lucky enough and loaded enough to get in on Shinanoya's 10th Anniversary bottling of "Single Malt Komagatake  29yo for Shinanoya" should have their bottles shipped today. These went for a cool 95,040 yen each. Even so, I watched them sell out roughly 30 seconds after the product page went live. Seems the Japanese whisky bubble still hasn't popped.
But with this bottle, you're actually owning, and maybe drinking, a piece of history. Shinanoya was able to score a single cask of this thanks to the long relationship they've had with Mars Whisky's Shinshu Distillery. This distillery was actually shutdown between 1992 and 2011. So the whisky was distilled on the old stills--they were replaced in 2014--and put to rest prior to the shutdown of the distillery. Shinanoya has also received special permission from Shinshu's Hokusai Museum to use one of his famous 1844 works, "Dragon," on the label.
Since it's unlikely that most people reading this will ever try this whisky, I'll go ahead and translate the tasting notes as well.
Nose: Vanilla, tropical fruit bubblegum, dried tea leaves, gradual estery aromas of apple and pear, birch tree, and light smoke
Palate: Sweet oak, custard, barley sugar, apple pie, ripe banana, apricot, and marmalade. Harmony of woody fruitness with gentle aging.
Finish: Banana peel, ginger, allspice, lasting bitter spiciness accompanying sweetness
Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, and has been saying he has lived in Japan for ten years for the past four years. He enjoys drinking basically anything except straight-up Campari.