Located just a rock’s skip away from Kobe Bay, Akashi is the closest whisky distillery to the coast in Japan. The ocean-laden air is reflected in the whisky’s savory, saline driven purity. The town of Akashi, translated as the “Sun Rise City,” dates back over 500 years. Here, less than 100 yards from the ocean, the owner’s family has been making traditional Japanese alcoholic beverages, like sake, for over three centuries.
Founded in 1888, Eigashima Shuzo holds Japan’s first whisky license, issued in 1919, and remains Japan’s smallest whiskey producer, comprised of a five person team. Serious malt production at this distillery did not begin until 1984, when the current copper pot stills were put into action and a focus on premium whiskies began at their “White Oak” facility. Following a program dedicated to crafting an insanely fine, super sip-able whisky, production is limited to insure that quality is preeminent, making Eigashima’s Akashi one of the rarest whiskies.
•Lightly Peated Malt blended with Wheat and Rye
•Ex bourbon, sherry and shochu barrels
•Minimum age 3yr
Eigashima ShuzoView all from Eigashima Shuzo
It is not too much of an overstatement to call Takagi Shuzo one of the most influential sake breweries in the world. In 1993 fifteenth generation owner Akitsuna Takagi took over the brewery at the age of 21 when he was still a student, learning the art of brewing on the job. This was at a time when few young brewers were entering the business, and Takagi set out to make a distinctive sake, one that fruit forward and vibrant as opposed to the light and dry style that was popular at the time. The resulting brand was Juyondai, literally "fourteenth generation" in honor of Takagi's father calling attention to the long lineage of the family.
Juyondai made an immediate impact, impressing the sake world with its ripe and bold character, quickly becoming one of the most sought after sake in the world. Takagi-san's example has inspired an entire generation of younger brewers to take over their small family businesses and develop their own unique house styles without following national trends.