In the past few years, we've seen a massive uptick in the number of new Japanese whisky distilleries coming online throughout the country.Though you might already be familiar with names like Yamazaki, Nikka, and Taketsuru, these are only the tip of the iceberg.
Japan's craft whisky and spirits scene is now booming. With all of these new distilleries popping up, it can be tough to keep track of
- who runs them
- what kind of whiskies/spirits they are making
- when they got started, and what the short-term holds for them
- where they are located
- why they are special!
To find answers to these questions and more, read through to the Japanese whisky distillery profiles below.
Deep in Japan’s snow country, along the coast of the Sea of Japan, you’ll find the unassuming Yuza Distillery. Here, a small team, new to making whisky, is tasked with saving a Yamagata shochu maker from the bleak economic outlook of Japan’s countryside. uza Distillery is Yamagata prefecture’s only whisky distillery. The backstory doesn’t span […]
The remote town of Akkeshi, Hokkaido is home to a Japanese whisky distillery that looks to use local ingredients and resources to create a Japanese version of Islay’s smoky malt whiskies. In 2020, the Akkeshi Distillery released their first single malt Japanese whisky. kkeshi Distillery was created by Kenten Jitsugyo, a trading company based here […]
Venture Whisky’s Chichibu Distillery opened in 2008, and at the time was Japan’s first independent distillery to open in over three decades. Its success since then cannot be understated. The distillery and founder Ichiro Akuto are recognized both inside and outside of Japan as producing some of the best Japanese whisky available today. hichibu Distillery […]
saka Distillery isn’t completely new. Behind the distillery is a company called Sasanokawa Shuzo, who has been in the alcohol business since 1765. In 1946, they jumped into whisky production — or at least what “whisky production” meant in Japan in those days. The company hit their stride in the 1980s with Cherry Whisky, relying […]