Wakatsuru Saburomaru Distillery launching cask owner program

The newly refurbished Saburomaru Distillery is looking for 100 people to become partial cask owners. For 26,000 yen, you’ll receive two bottles of whisky from Saburomaru roughly five years from now. They expect the new pot to head into a bourbon cask in August, then mature, yielding 200 cask-strength bottles at 700ml apiece in July 2023.

Saburomaru Distillery does have limited stock of pre-refurbishment whisky, evidenced by the recently released Moon Glow 2018 edition. But I’m not aware of any way to even sample their post-refurbishment product, short of going to the distillery itself and begging. So this program is a bit of a gamble, especially when you consider how few details are known about the new operation.

Sign-ups go live at the unfortunately named orner page at Saburomaru’s website from 10AM JST on July 2. The offer is only open to residents of Japan — they won’t be shipping any bottles internationally. Sales will end once they hit 100 people.

For those that haven’t heard of Toyama prefecture’s Saburomaru Distilley, read more of our coverage here and here!

Just for comparison purposes, Wakatsuru is more or less using the same setup as the program launched by Asaka Distillery last year. Shizuoka Distillery’s program, on the other hand, sends you a lot of bottles every year so you can monitor progress. For new Japanese whisky distilleries that aren’t venturing into gin ala Sakurao and Benizakura, these kinds of ownership schemes are another way to keep the lights on during the wait. Another approach is to simply sell the new pot itself, like we’ve seen from Akkeshi and Kanosuke.

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