The Mars Shinshu Distillery has revealed their latest single cask Komagatake bottling via a Facebook post. This one is finished in an ex-IPA beer cask from Minami Shinshu Brewery, which is also located on the Shinshu Distillery grounds.
Many of you are probably aware that the Mars Shinshu Distillery sat dormant from 1992 to 2011. Though Mars's whisky stills weren't running, the site itself was not completely silent. Soon after deregulation of Japan's beer industry in 1994, Minami Shinshu Beer opened the Minami Shinshu Brewery at the same location in 1996 as Nagano prefecture's first craft beer brewery.
One of Minami Shinshu Beer's seasonal brews is an IPA, and for this whisky bottling, it looks like Mars Shinshu has simply borrowed a cask from them.
Single Cask Komagatake Minami Shinshu IPA Beer Cask Finish is a distillery-only release, dropping today. Specs-wise we're looking at a 3.5 year matured whisky, given the distillation in Feb-March 2016 and bottling in October 2019. That maturation takes place in an ex-Bourbon barrel, and for the finish it's moved to a super-hoppy IPA cask.
Mars says we should expect a slightly bitter palate, and we can also enjoy some fresh citrus on the nose. Lightly peated with 3.5ppm.
Only 217 bottles at 700ml of this one are coming along at 59% abv. 10000 yen before tax.
Though I did say that this is a distillery-only release, Mars Shinshu will be selling just 20 bottles via phone, for domestic shipping only. Their lines for orders open up at 1PM JST, January 27, so get ready!