Akkeshi Distillery starts using Hokkaido malt

We’ve talked plenty about Akkeshi Distillery here, but now it looks like they’ve opened a new chapter for Japanese whisky. Hokkaido Shimbun brings word that Akkeshi has just put their first whisky using Hokkaido malt into casks made using Hokkaido Mizunara oak. Japan’s first entirely Hokkaido whisky.

This is a significant development for not just Akkeshi but Japanese craft whisky as a whole. Despite being “Japanese” whisky, it has until now almost exclusively been made from imported malt, as Japan doesn’t make much of it to begin with. Given that we are due for Single Malt Akkeshi’s release in 2020, though, there’s no telling if this Hokkaido-born whisky will become a regular product for the distillery.

Using domestic malt is also a stated goal for the Chichibu Distillery and the Shizuoka Distillery, so we’ll likely see plenty more of this in the years to come!

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