Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
Today, the oldest Japanese whisky to date is officially released: ‘Saburomaru 1960’, a 55yo single malt whisky.
As said, ‘Saburomaru 1960’ is the oldest single malt Japanese whisky ever bottled. It was distilled in May 1960 in an old ‘allospas’ still, imported from France. This is a continuous still, so in Scotland, this would not be a single malt technically, since single malts have to be distilled in pot stills. (In Japan, this doesn’t matter.) It is a vatting of a few casks. All the casks used were ex-red wine casks from Yamanashi from the days when Wakatsuru Shuzo dabbled in ‘port wine’. It’s bottled at vatting strength (47%) and limited to 155 bottles.
The retail price will be 550,000 yen plus tax - which, from a purely objective point of view, is quite reasonable. But don’t get too excited: the company is organizing this as a lottery. For more information (in Japanese!), head on over here.
On a recent visit to the distillery, I had the chance to try this historic whisky... - but that’s for another post!