Ichiro's Malt Chichibu x Komagatake

In 2015 the Chichibu distillery and Mars distillery swapped new make, a first ever for Japan. After 6 years of the new makes maturing at their respective distilleries, we are finally able to see the whisky fully matured. This bottle is officially a blended malt whisky, being a combination of two different distillery's new make. Each party took the whisky they had matured and blended with their own stocks to produce a unique, distinctive style. This bottling is the Chichibu edition of the series, aiming to be more a traditional bourbon cask style whisky.

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    Blended Malt
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Founded in 2007 by Ichiro Akuto, the distillery is located in the small town of Chichibu in Saitama Japan. One of the most premier modern Japanese producers, Chichibu has rocketed to fame with its incredible quality single casks. After saving the remaining stock from the Hanyu distillery, a site that was run by his grandfather, Akuto began distilling his own whisky in 2008. The stocks from Hanyu allowed him to create a name for himself with legendary releases such as the Ichiro’s Card Series, generating initial cash flow whilst his own whisky was maturing. The distillery itself is equipped with a manually stirred mashtun and eight washbacks made of native Japanese Mizunara wood, along with a pair of small 2,000 litre pot stills. Utilising a wide variety of barley types and peat levels, Akuto creates a huge variety of expressions and utilises his on site cooperage to craft exceptional quality casks. These cask types include: sherry, madeira, cognac, bourbon, rum, mizunara and even a custom 120L cask size he calls a Chibidaru.  
In 2019 Akuto expanded his operation with the construction of Chichibu #2. Just 2 minutes down the road from the original site, the first spirit flowed from the new site in July 2019. The stills at the new site are the same shape as the originals but considerably bigger, with the wash still being 10,000L and the spirit still at 6,500L. This expanded production is expected to help the distillery meet the huge level of demand it has seen throughout the world. Akuto is also a masterful blender and in 2021 won world’s best blended whisky for his Ichiro’s Malt & Grain black label, a release that utilised 40 year old grain whisky from Kawasaki along with single malts from Hanyu and Chichibu. His white label Malt & Grain expression is commonly found throughout Japan and is a highball favourite of many Japanese. 

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