See better photos of the Chita distillery here, here, here and here.
Eagle eyed readers may have noticed an interesting line in the report of the Japanese heats of the World Whisky Awards last month:
"Best Grain Whisky: Suntory Single Grain Whisky `Chita`"Just so you know it when you see it, the label of the new release in question has the English description "Suntory Single Grain Whisky" across the top. Below that, in Japanese, it says: "Chita Jouryujou Tokusei Grain", which means something like "Chita distillery Special Grain". It is selling for about 8,400 yen and is 43 per cent alcohol. I believe the grain whiskies used have been aged at least 12 years.
The Chita distillery is in Aichi prefecture, to the south of the city of Nagoya, and it is Suntory's grain whisky distillery. It is part of the "Sungrain" division of the Suntory group. If you want to investigate a little more, there are some good photos of Chita on the Japanese language blog of Bar Athrun, Osaka: here, here, here and here. The photographer was one of a group of 24 people given an official tour of the factory. He says it has a production capacity of "550,000 kl" (presumably, per year) and that only 26 people work in this large factory. The number of people on site will often be half that. Incidentally, the photo of what looks like a large piece of discarded scrap metal appears to be an old patent still.
Chita distillery address in English:
Kitahama-machi 16, Chita, Aichi 478-0046, Japan
Chita distillery address in Japanese: