the first single malt edition.
Chichibu is the youngest whisky distillery in Japan. It was founded by Ichiro Akuto, the grandson of the founder of now closed Hanyu distillery – Isouji Akuto. Distillation was launched in February 2008. Previously they released some blends using stocks of Hanyu.
The distillery is located in the town of the same name about 100 km NW of Tokyo in Saitama prefecture.
The ambition of the founder, Ichiro Akuto is the production of high-quality whisky, using traditional methods and presentation. Some part of used barley is locally grown and even malted. The water comes from a nearby Arakawa river.
Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu The First was distilled in 2008, bottled in 2011, 3 years of maturing in Bourbon barrlels from Heaven Hill distillery, so the minimal period to call it whisky (according to Scottish and Japanese rules). Natural colour, unchillfiltered and cask strength 61,8% ABV. Single malt presentation deserves praise and copying by other producers. 7400 bottles were released, this one is No. 547.
C: light gold,
N: first impression … shy malt, you need to get deeper and sniff stronger, very delicate at the beginning less volatile aroma, vanilla, very far raisins and almonds, water has a positive effect and fragrance opens, enhances the sweetness, something like yeast, scented, it is still a very delicate, more water, vanilla gets obvious, more water – more sweet and vanilla, freshness begins to emerge, with the addition of large amounts of water and clouding (which proves unchillfiltered) floral with lemon peel and orange,
T: a lot more here is going on, soury, ripe red grapes, young whisky but quite a lot of oak, then very sparkling on the tongue, the water helps, ripe red fruits, something like lychee, more water reveals sweetness, some raisins, almonds, slightly pineapple and apple,
F: medium long.
Despite notes of oak in the taste it is a young whisky, with a very delicate aroma. An interesting proposal for curious of the world and a good omen for the future single malts from Chichibu. Refilling water has a positive effect on the flavor, but not too much, to avoid drowning the taste. I ordered a 50 ml dram and thanks to water, after about an hour working it out, not much has disappeared. Quite bourbon nature, obvious bourbon casks.
As for the three years old – congratulations, good career for Chichibu starts in the world of single malts.