Aichi Craft Whisky Kiyosu, another fake. Probably.

Sake maker Kiyosuzakura aims to join the fray of “Japanese” whisky makers with a new blended “whisky” called Aichi Craft Whisky Kiyosu.

I put both “Japanese” and “whisky” in quotes above because frankly I am quite suspicious of this one.

On the one hand, every red flag we have about fake Japanese whiskies pops up:

  • obligatory sake maker. Kiyosuzakura, founded in 1853, makes one of the cheapest sakes regularly available (in a juice box!), named Onikoroshi
  • an age statement, frankly at this point it’s more suspicious to have one than not
  • seemingly affordable price (3000 yen for 500ml)
  • blended whisky
  • Whisky distillation license status is unknown (at the very least, they didn’t get one within the past 5 years)

On the other hand, they claim it’s been made using seishu kobo, or sake brewing yeast. I mean, sure, all brewer’s yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. But there are specific strains used by sake makers. If they are using such a strain, then at least the malt portion of the whisky was distilled in Japan? As for the license, it’s plausible that they got a whisky license decades and decades ago but have just been sitting on it — check out the recent release of Peak New Make from Gyokusendo for an example of that.

In any case, this one is out already. Aged for 5 years in an oak cask in their underground cellar, apparently.


One Comment


    Dear Richard,
    I’m glad you highlighted our local brand kiyosu on this web Honestly speaking, i’m also surprised that they have a new business and called Kiyosu.
    However, it was not a big surprise, coz they are still one of the most well known sake brand in the region, and they produce vodka, gin on the same time, surely want to test whiskey as a distilled brothers.
    secondly, lots of all sake brewery has extra strength to produce many kinda alcohol under 1 licence. Japan has a culture of vested interests in many solace’s, so it must be it.

    I wish it helps you to reconsider their whiskey is not FAKE, anyway it’s also my wish too.

    best Regards,
    Hiroyuki Hirano

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