Eigashima Shuzo's White Oak Distillery is launching two new whiskies on April 7: a single malt sherry cask vatting, and a blended with a sherry cask finish. In either case, Both are called Eigashima rather than Akashi.Eigashima Shuzo often celebrates the fact that they were the first company in Japan to get a whisky distillation license, way back in 1919. They were! They got licensed before even Kotobukiya (Suntory) and Nikka.
What they don't tell you is that despite obtaining the license, they didn't build the first whisky distillery in Japan. That honor instead goes to Yamazaki. How do you get a license to make whisky without having a mash tun, pot still, etc.? The answer is that you make imitation whisky, which was all the rage in Japan back in those days.
In any case, in 2020, the company celebrates the 101st year of this licensing. On April 7, they plan on releasing two new whiskies:
Single Malt Whisky Eigashima Sherry Cask
- 100% UK malt
- Vatting of malt whiskies distilled between 2009 and 2014, distilled in sherry casks
- NAS, but it could be 5 years if bottled in 2020
- Nose: dry fruit, peaty, caramel-like sweetness
- Palate: bittersweet, elegant depth, gentle balance
- 50% abv, 500ml, 11000 yen before tax
Blended Eigashima Sherry Cask Finish
- Blend of malt whiskies (100% UK malt) and grain whiskies
- Finished in a sherry cask
- Nose: Floral and bright
- Palate: Decently bodied with tannins, mild and sweet
- 50% abv, 500ml, 3300 yen before tax
Both bottles feature throwback livery, with Eigashima's sakura trademark and old logo.
Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, and has been saying he has lived in Japan for ten years for the past four years. He enjoys drinking basically anything except straight-up Campari.