Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Japanese Whisky By Ichiro Akuto and the Chichibu Distillery
In Ichiro’s words, this is an “An All-World Whisky.” The key malt is Ichiro’s Malt, combined with his selections of Scotch, Irish, Canadian, and American whiskies aged in country anywhere from 3–20 years. These components are blended then aged on sight in Chichibu for an additional 2–3 years. Ichiro’s Malt and Grain is blended to balance a heart of Japanese whisky with the complementary nuances of major whiskies of the world. 46.5% ABV (negligible variation in proof may be seen from batch to batch)
It all started some three centuries ago when the first of Ichiro Akuto’s forefathers began making alcoholic beverages in Saitama Prefecture. His grandfather began making whisky in the mid-1940’s with Hanyu Distillery, whose focus on malt whiskies took off with the Japanese economic boom of the 1980s. However, when the bubble burst in the 1990s, so too did the first Japanese Whisky boom, leading Hanyu—like several other distillers—to shutter its doors.
Ichiro’s Malt & Grain saved his grandfather’s old inventory and subsequently released the Playing Card series. This collection, which debuted to a slow start in the early 2000s, is now considered unicorn whisky, the stuff of legend. With the success of the playing cards, Ichiro saw that the Japanese whisky revival was imminent and in 2008 he built his current distillery in Chichubu. Chichubu distillery is where Ichiro, a 21st-century whisky-maker, embraces the heritage and heart of the Scots, balanced by the precision of the Japanese and the shokunin philosophy.
A blend from the king of independent Japanese distillers, Ichiro Akuto. In addition to whisky from his own Chichibu distillery, it also includes whiskies from America, Canada, Scotland and Ireland. As it says on the label – ‘This is worldwide blended whisky’.
Peach and dried apricot, sweet butterscotch, vanilla cream, citrus zest, synthetic bananas and gooey malt.
Toffee first and foremost, with notes of barley malt, gingerbread, tropical fruits, honeyed pipe tobacco lveas, black pepper, roasted chestnut and freshly cut hay.
Medium length with vanilla and dried tropical fruit.