The Sakurao Distillery, in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima--nearby the World Heritage island of Miyajima--has taken on a new challenge. This report is the result of my latest visit, in March 2020.
Text/Photos: Mamoru Tsuchiya
Translation: Whiskey Richard
This article originally appeared in Japanese in Whisky Galore Vol.21 / August 2020.
Title image: The original shochu still has been commandeered for use as a grain whisky still. The initial vacuum distillation yields estery flavors, then the low wines of three such runs are combined and distilled again in the same still. This time around it's an atmospheric distillation, and it's subsequently rectified to increase the abv in the column shown top-right.The pace of development at Chugoku Jozo's Sakurao Distillery is quite shocking. During my last visit two years ago, they had a single Holstein hybrid still for both whisky and gin. This time around (March 2020), they have added a new still immediately next to it, and have begun making malt whisky.
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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.