Tomatin Distillary is releasing the “world’s rarest Japanese whisky,” Shirakawa 1958 Single Malt from Takara Shuzo Co. The whisky will probably be launched on September 13, 2022.
Shirakawa 1958 is a single malt whisky Shirakawa, a misplaced Japanese distillery, which was positioned 200km north of Tokyo, Japan. The whisky produced was rumoured to be beautiful, however destined just for mixing and by no means to be captured as a single malt till now, with a collaboration between Tomatin Distillery and Takara Shuzo. This uncommon expression–restricted to 1,500 bottles globally–would be the solely official single malt bottling from Shirakawa Distillery and is the earliest single classic Japanese whisky ever bottled.
“There are not any identified examples of Japanese whisky claiming to be from a Single Classic that predate Shirakawa 1958,” confirms Stefan van Eycken, an authority on the world of Japanese whisky and distilling. “Despite the fact that Shirakawa Distillery was one of many pioneers of malt whisky making in Japan, the liquid was by no means formally out there as a single malt. This restricted 1,500 bottle launch will see the Japanese Whisky class, one of the vital sought-after classes of spirit on this planet, proceed to develop from power to power.”
The Shirakawa Distillery was constructed within the Fukushima Prefecture in 1939 by Daikoku Budoshu and bought by Takara Shuzo in 1947. Working for almost six and a half a long time, it produced malt whisky between 1951 – 1969, one of many first distilleries in Japan to take action. The overwhelming majority of the whisky produced was utilized in Takara Shuzo’s flagship ‘King’ blended whisky model. The Shirakawa Distillery then was demolished in 2003.
It was Tomatin Managing Director Stephen Bremner who first grew to become intrigued by mother or father firm Takara Shuzo’s historical past of malt whisky manufacturing in Japan and why so little was identified about this facet of the corporate’s historical past. He pieced collectively anecdotal data from earlier workers about whisky manufacturing and looked for lengthy misplaced paperwork which may shed some mild on Shirakawa’s single malt Japanese whisky making previous.
The ultimate remaining parcel was recognized in Takara Shuzo’s Kurokabegura in 2019. The liquid had been distilled in 1958, aged in cask, then transferred to ceramic jars on the distillery. When Shirakawa closed, it was put into chrome steel tanks at Takara Shuzo’s manufacturing facility in Kyushu the place it lay untouched till now.
“Tomatin Distillery Co. Ltd had been purchased by Takara Shuzo in 1986 and I grew to become fascinated by the story of Shirakawa and its historical past of whisky manufacturing,” defined Bremner. “There had by no means been an official single malt bottling, and the distillery had lengthy gone, however I couldn’t assist questioning what if part of liquid historical past lay unearthed. After a number of in-depth discussions with colleagues at Takara Shuzo the final remaining parcel of Shirakawa was recognized in 2019. After I found that the final remaining inventory was distilled in 1958, I used to be astounded! It was a real WOW second as I realised in a short time that what we have been coping with was extraordinarily uncommon.”
This discovery introduced additional thriller each for the liquid unearthed, as with the historical past of the distillery itself. The exact age of the whisky can’t be specified; though it’s clear the liquid was matured in oak casks, the kind of cask and size of maturation stays unknown to at the present time. Although manufacturing particulars are unclear, it’s from a time when the distillery used predominantly Japanese malted barley and Mizunara oak casks.
Bottled at 49% ABV, the 1958 classic will exist as the one official single malt ever to be launched from Shirakawa Distillery and the earliest identified single classic Japanese whisky ever bottled.
Value at £25,000 per 70cl bottle, the whisky will probably be out there starting September 13, 2022 through Tomatin’s official web site and chosen retail companions worldwide together with Harrods, Berry Bros, The Whisky Trade & Royal Mile Whiskies.