Malt, peat, and barrel wood.
The Birth of "Akkeshi All-Star," entirely made-in-Akkeshi
In early July, I visited Hokkaido's Akkeshi for the first time in two and a half years. My goal was to see the new bottling plant, a Mizunara oak virgin forest, and the fields of Akkeshi "Ryofu" two-row barley.
The first full-sized bottle of Akkeshi's single malt will be released in October. As the world anticipates its release, let's take a look at the liquid inside.
Text/Photos: Mamoru Tsuchiya
Translation: Whiskey Richard
This article originally appeared in Japanese in Whisky Galore Vol.21 / October 2020.
Title image: The façade of the building offers a nod to Islay's distilleries.Akkeshi Distillery began production in October 2016, so four years ago from now. The founder is Kenten Jitsugyo's Keiichi Toita. In the late 90s, he was blown away when he encountered Ardbeg, an Islay malt. "Who knew whisky like this existed?" Toita-san, whose prior experience with whisk(e)y was limited to dabbling in Bourbon, was captivated by Islay malts. From then on, with "The Complete Guide to Single Malt Whisky" (Shogakukan) in hand, he began his journey into the world of single malts.
Already a member? Login here!
Mamoru Tsuchiya is Japan’s foremost whisky critic. He is the Representative Director of the Japan Whisky Research Centre, and was named one of the “World’s Best Five Whisky Writers” by Highland Distillers in 1998. He served as the whisky historian for NHK’s Massan and he has published several books such as The Complete Guide to Single Malt Whisky, Taketsuru’s Life and Whisky, and The Literacy of Whisky. He is the editor of the bimonthly Whisky Galore, Japan’s only print whisky magazine.