Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Breaking News: New Malt Whisky Distillery to be opened in 2016 in Japan

Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
Photo: Hokkaido by Chi King (CC BY 2.0)
News has just come out that Japan will get its 9th malt whisky distillery next year. It is a project of Tokyo-based export/import company Kenten Jitsugyou (who import raw food materials into Japan and export liquor), but the actual distillery will be in Hokkaido.

It will be the second distillery in Hokkaido (after Yoichi) but the first one in the Doutou area (i.e. the east of Hokkaido). Kenten Jitsugyou submitted its construction request to the town office of Akkeshi, a town known for its oysters, yesterday (25 November). The plan is to acquire the distilling license by September 2016 and to start production soon after.

The 2,960m² site will have a still house (with 5 washbacks and 2 pot stills) and an administration building. Projected output is 30,000 litres, and it will offer employment to two or three people initially. There’s no word on how much the company is investing in this distillery project but it’s likely to be several hundred million yen. The company is planning on launching its first whisky in 2019.

This is further proof – if any were needed – of an unparalleled Japanese whisky boom. There are rumours of at least one other distillery project in the early stages of planning – no surprise really with Japanese whiskies (new and old) fetching unreal prices in retail and at auctions at the moment, in some cases just by merit of being… Japanese whisky.

We’ll keep you informed of further details when they become available.

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