A local newspaper in Niigata prefecture, Niigata Nippo, brings along some additional details about the Niigata Kameda Distillery that's planned for launch in April 2020.
When we last discussed the distillery, the budget was some 100 million yen. As many budgets do, it seems to have ballooned to 200 million yen, despite that the annual output (30kL) remains unchanged. Here are the new details we can gleam from this latest report:
- 2000L Forsyths pot stills (the concept image shows two, but it's not specified whether the wash or spirit still is 2000L)
- New pot will be released next year, but after that, they will wait until the 3 year mark for whisky
- They plan a cask ownership program
- Projection of 120 million yen in revenue by their 5th year
- They are aiming to make it a very Niigata whisky, with aging warehouses throughout the prefecture, such as in the mountains and by the ocean
- They plan to partner with Niigata beer and wine makers to swap casks
- Eventual aim is to grow/use 100% Niigata-grown barley
It sounds to me like they're aiming for terroir, if such a thing exists for whisky. Niigata prefecture is part of Japan's yukiguni, or snow country. Ohtani expects that the temperature variation between summer and winter, combined with the humidity, will offer good conditions for maturing whisky.
These days, Niigata is known worldwide as a major producer of some of Japan's finest rice and sake. Whisky will certainly be a welcome addition!