The Akkeshi New Born Foundations 3 – Hokkaido – Mizunara Cask 2019 Japenese Whisky
The first exclusively mizunara oak matured spirit released from new Japanese whisky distillery Akkeshi.
Bottled January 2019, this is a vatting of peated malts matured for 8-23 months in local mizunara oak.
Bottled at 55% in 200ml bottles.
While still spirit, these Foundation expression show the potential of the distillery with it’s big, chewy spirit – peated or unpeated.
Distillery tasting notes:
Nose: Brown sugar, vanilla, and fresh melon infused with spice notes of nutmeg
Palate: Bitter chocolate and sugar syrup with a layer of tangerine zest
Finish: White pepper and bitter chocolate with a hint of fragrant wood
Akkeshi began distilling in 2016 amongst a swathe of “new” Japanese distilleries. Based in the Akkeshi District of Hokkaido, the concept of distilling and maturing single malt in Japan’s northern wilderness traces back to the very first plans of Masataka Taketsuru, a pioneer of the country’s early whisky production.
Indeed, the distillery is inspired by the heavier styles of Scotch whisky, particularly those from Islay. It is owned by Kenten Co, an import-export company and President Keichi Toita is a long-time whisky aficionado and lover. He was behind the distillery’s location and style and give that the distillery is wholly backed by Kenten, they don’t have to answer to any outside parties.
Akkeshi features a pair of pot stills from Forsyths, a 5,000 litre wash still and 3,600 litre spirit still. They are steam heated and feature declining lyne arms into shell-and-tube condensers. To the eye they are very Islay-esque.
They have two warehouses at the distillery site and two closer to the sea so that they can see the differences in the maturation environments.
Their first ‘Foundation’ spirit releases appeared throughout 2018 and 2019 before the first single malt – Sarorunkamuy – was released in 2020.