The Yuza Distillery opened in 2018 at the base of Mt. Chokai, one of the Tohoku region's iconic mountains. Two young female graduates from the local university are making the whisky. They are one of Japanese whisky's first-movers in gender equality, and the whisky is "world standard."
Header image: Forsyths pot stills. On the left is the wash still, and the right is the spirit still. The downward-sloping lyne arms are comparatively long. It's a wide-open space, potentially leaving room for expansion.
Images/Text: Mamoru Tsuchiya
Translation: Whiskey Richard
This article originally appeared in Japanese in Whisky Galore Vol.25 / April 2021.Yuza is Yamagata's first whisky distillery, and like Akkeshi, Forsyths was involved in all steps of its establishment, from planning, to equipment sourcing, then to test distillations. Yuza is in a breadbasket region of the prefecture that's about 30 minutes away from Sakata by car, In front of the distillery is the stretch of the Sea of Japan, and behind it lies the mighty Mt. Chokai. Sakata is of course known as a port town along the Kitamaebune shipping route, where rice from the Shonai Plain was shipped to Kyoto and Osaka.
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