This is a fun whisky, because just like I bought it, took pictures and tasted it, there was released new rules for Japanese whisky on February 16, 2021.
So is this a Japanese whisky or not…
The Kaikyo distillery is relatively new. They have been producing alcohol since 2016, but have apparently only been licensed in 2017. hmmm although the Yonezawa family how has the distillery have been brewing Sake since 1856 and began distilling Spirits in 1917.
The location of the Kaikyo distillery is in the town of Akashi, at the historic Akashi Sake Brewery. Okay why is it not named “Akashi Distillery”? Well a good reason for this is that there already is a distillery by that make whisky and sake that is called Akashi. It is produced at the Eigashima Shuzo – White Oak Whisky Distillery only about 10 km from Kaikyo Distillery.
So Kaikyo calls their whisky Hatozaki so no one will get confused. I have read that this will change when they release the first Single Malt whisky – Then it will be called Kaikyo Whisky.
Kaikyo Distillery has it’s name from The Akashi-Kaikyo bridge which is not far from the distillery.
With a free span of 1,991 meters, the Akashi-Kaikyo bridge in Japan is the world’s longest suspension bridge and thus 367 meters longer than the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark, which is the world’s third longest with a 1,624 meters free span. The bridge was opened on April 5, 1998 (The Danish bridge opened June 14, 1998)
The name on the whisky – Hatozaki is from a nearby Lighthouse – well not just any Lighthouse, but Japans oldest stone lighthouse that was taken in service back in 1620.
So far so good.
In 2016 by Mossburn Distillers & Blenders, a Scotch Whisky company buys Kaikyo Distillery installed two new pot stills stills made by Scottish Forsythes. Now Kaikyo was ready for future distilling.
There is also a Hatozaki Blended whisky. Maybe I will tell about that in the future, but now it is time to focus on this Hatozaki Pure Malt.
Hatozaki Pure Malt what is this? This is where Mossburn comes into the picture. Hatozaki Pure Malt is a 100% malt whisky sourced from Japanese whiskies, Scottish and from North America – So according to the new Japanese laws on Japanese whisky, this is not a Japanese whisky.
Kaikyo has barrels of whisky from other countrys maturing at the distillery and blend these to get the Pure Malt and the blended of course.
The taste in Hatozaki Pure Malt is young. We don’t get an age statement, and that is fine with me, but we don’t get to know what actually is in the bottle either.
Mossburn is an Independent bottler and distiller that own Torabhaig Distillery on the Isle of Skye. They started distilling in 2017 as well, maybe there is young Torabhaig in this blend? It can be many other sourced whiskies and I don’t think there is very much original Japanese whisky in the blend as there is shortage of Japanese whisky in general.
It is said that all whiskies in this blend is between 5-6 years old and the casks used are Ex-Bourbon casks, Ex-Sherry casks and Mizunara barrels.
Anyway Hatozaki Pure Malt has been vatted in small batches of 20 caskes. This can be 200 – 500 Liter casks and is vatted i a special two stage proces.
First the master blender hand picks all the casks he want to use. Then he makes two Foundation blends and fill this each foundation into one cask to rest. After a periode of time he then marry the two foundations into one and let it rest for a periode of time.
Voila and you have Hatozaki Blended whisky.
In my opinion you need to give this whisky some air before sipping. This will take some of the alcohol burn when you nose. Then it becomes more fruity. It is grassy, malty, light smoked, some vanilla and pear.
The taste is reminding me of something Scotch I have tasted but in a younger version. Maybe that is just an illusion I have knowing that Mossburn is involved in some way.
Well, my conclusion is that is a okay whisky that in some ways get me thinking of a mix of Chivas Regal 12 year old and Label 5 but with more power and more maltyness. Not bad at all, I think I had expected a more round and smooth whisky. I think this one just have to grow with me. Now that I have the bottle it might change me with time – let’s see 😉
Hatozaki Blended Whisky is the same whisky as USA Hatozaki Finest whisky.
Hatozaki Pure malt whisky is the same as USA Hatozaki small batch.
Maybe in 2022 or 2023 Kaikyo Distillery will release a single Malt from the distillery. Some from the first runs in 2017. I think that can be exiting.
𝙉𝙖𝙢𝙚: Hatozaki – Pure Malt
𝙏𝙮𝙥𝙚: Blended (Malt)
𝘼𝙡𝙘 %: 46
𝘾𝙖𝙨𝙠𝙨: Ex-Bourbon, Ex-Sherry and Japanese Mizunara oak barrels
𝙉𝙖𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙖𝙡 𝙘𝙤𝙡𝙤𝙪𝙧: Yes
𝘿𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙣: ?
𝘽𝙤𝙩𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙣: ?
𝙇𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙙: ? (each batch is no more than 20 casks. Let’s say it is all 250 liter casks. That will be around 7000 bottles per batch)
🅼🆈 🆃🅰🆂🆃🅸🅽🅶 🅽🅾🆃🅴🆂
👃: Malt, grass, light smoke, vanilla and pear, spices, sweet melon
👄: Malt, nutty, citrus, a little vanilla, pepper, a little touch of smoke, slightly creamy/oily, honey, a little dried fruits like prunes but not the sweet ones.
😋: Oily, a little soft mild smoke, honey, fresh wood
𝙄 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙜𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙨𝙠𝙮: 🥃🥃🥃 (3/6)
🅼🆈 🆁🅰🆃🅸🅽🅶 🆂🆈🆂🆃🅴🅼
🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃 – 𝙀𝙭𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙤𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙧𝙮 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙨𝙠𝙮 – 𝙙𝙚𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙖 𝙠𝙚𝙚𝙥𝙚𝙧
🥃🥃🥃🥃🥃 – 𝘼 𝙗𝙚𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙛𝙪𝙡 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙨𝙠𝙮 – 𝙊𝙣𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙛
🥃🥃🥃🥃 – 𝙂𝙤𝙤𝙙 – 𝙈𝙖𝙮𝙗𝙚 𝙢𝙮 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙙𝙖𝙮 𝙙𝙧𝙖𝙢
🥃🥃🥃 – 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙗𝙖𝙙 – 𝙄’𝙡𝙡 𝙙𝙤 𝙞𝙩 𝙖𝙜𝙖𝙞𝙣 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙙𝙖𝙮
🥃🥃 – 𝙄𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙛𝙪𝙣 𝙩𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙄 𝙢𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙙𝙤 𝙞𝙩 𝙖𝙜𝙖𝙞𝙣
🥃 – 𝙇𝙚𝙩’𝙨 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙨𝙖𝙮 𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙩