Chichibu Distillery, Venture Whisky
Returning to whisky's roots with gas direct-fired distillation
Images/text: Mamoru Tsuchiya
Translation: Whiskey Richard
This article originally appeared in Japanese in Whisky Galore Vol.17 / December 2019.
Image top: The 10,000L wash still (forefront), and the spirit still opposite. Both are straight head shaped, and use gas direct firing.Progress at Venture Whisky's Chichibu Distillery has continued at a steady pace since it began operating in February 2008. In the summer of 2019, construction was completed at their second distillery (simply "Daini", or #2) in Midorigaoka Industrial Park. "When in doubt, go back to where it all began." These are the words of Akuto-san, whose "Malt Dream Chapter 2" is Scotch's traditional direct-fired distillation. We visited the site.
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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.