Following the Nukada Distillery in Ibaraki prefecture, Kiuchi Shuzo has opened a second distillery at the base of Mt. Tsukuba. I visited this distillery, located inside of a remodeled community center, in early February. They were busy preparing for their first distillation run.
Text/Photos: Mamoru Tsuchiya
Translation: Whiskey Richard
This article originally appeared in Japanese in Whisky Galore Vol.19 / April 2020.
Standalone distillery created in a refurbished community centerIbaraki's Tsukuba might be known for its high tech industry, but in the next town over, Ishioka, the Yasato district is making a name for itself for its low tech organic farming. The basin, surrounded by mountains, has also become known for its harvesting of seeds of rice and barley: that basin makes it tougher for non-native seeds to enter the area.
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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.