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Saburomaru Gyokuto 2022 Japanese Peated Blended Whisky 46%ABV 30ml

Saburomaru Gyokuto 2022 Japanese Peated Blended Whisky 46%ABV 30ml

Regular price $15.00 AUD
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Official Notes:

"From the first moment, it is powerful and captivating, with smoky notes reminiscent of Scotland and the island of Islay. In the mouth, this whisky reveals an enveloping greediness. Peat flavours blend harmoniously with red fruit nuances, creating a subtle balance between sweetness and complexity. The finish is long and memorable, giving way to aromas of delicate cocoa and lingering peat that invite further tasting.

The whiskies that make up the Blend Gyokuto 2022 have been aged in different types of highly toasted casks carefully selected by Takahiko Inagaki, the House's Master Blender: three types of sherry casks, adding a unique richness and complexity to its flavor profile. In addition, Japanese red wine barrels made of Inami oak in the southern Toyama prefecture were also used, giving the whisky a subtle fruity and refined influence.

The double distillation of malt in traditional pot stills, an emblematic method of the Saburomaru distillery, contributes to the quality and finesse of this Japanese whisky. Neither coloured nor chill-filtered, it retains all its authenticity and transparency, offering whisky lovers a truly original tasting experience.

Gyokuto is a creature from Japanese folklore, representing a white rabbit living on the moon, and this edition is part of the series of Japanese world blends Moon Glow paying tribute to the moon, with a new edition every year.

The Blend Gyokuto 2022 edition of the Saburomaru distillery offers a beautiful, fresh and sweet flavour slightly different from the usual style of the house."

Background - 

Saburomaru is one of the oldest running distilleries in Japan. The Wakatsuru family have been making Sake and Shochu since 1862 and opened Saburomaru Distillery in 1952 as there was a shortage of rice available for Sake Brewing after World War II. They have casks of whisky aged over 20 years and have released a 55 year old whisky. The Wakatsuru family won one of the four licences to make Coca Cola in Japan which was a huge success and this led to them neglecting the struggling Whisky distillery.  One of the grandsons of the clan was a big peated whisky fan and did a crowd funding campaign in 2016 to refurbish the distillery and install new stills and now they are releasing the first whiskies from these new stills.

In 2018 the blend Saburomaru Moon Glow won best Japanese Blend at the World Whisky awards - this used some of their aged stocks but a fair amount of the blend was Scotch grain. In recent decades, Suntory, Nikka and Kirin have been the only producers of grain whisky in Japan and they do not supply grain whisky to other suppliers so basically all other producers use Scottish grain whisky (or even Japanese Shochu - so it probably isn't even whisky - possibly over half the Japanese whisky at Dan Murphys at the moment is Scotch or include local spirits - so is it really Japanese whisky? or even whisky at all?). Some like Ichiros Malt made by Chichibu and Amahagan made by Nagahama are very transparent about using Scotch and call their whiskies 'World Blends' - other producers are releasing whisky that doesn't contain any Japanese Whisky at all and labelling it Japanese. Recently Yoshida Denzai Grain Whisky Distillery opened and they plan to offer Japanese craft distilleries casks of grain whisky so they can make blends that can be labelled as fully Japanese like the big three.

With the new laws around labelling in Japan it will now be more transparent what is actually in the bottle. In the Stefan Van Eycken book 'Whisky Rising' it appears that most Japanese whisky producers had very dubious practices at the start - 100 years ago Suntory bottled Scotch and labelled it as Japanese whisky and others often stretched their small production by adding neutral spirit. One of the most popular 'Japanese whiskies' Nikka from the Barrel is actually Ben Nevis. Saburomaru has produced a whisky for the local market called Sunshine for 70 years that is not Japanese but cheap Scotch blended whisky.  Things are changing - many of the worst offenders at mislabelling whisky have invested the money and are now releasing decent young whisky they produced themselves. With over 40 new distilleries opened or about to open between 2010 and 2025 and distilleries that didn't export whisky boosting production for international markets, the Japanese whisky boom driven by a lack of supply over the past 10 years will be replaced by an overwhelming amount of choice in the next 5 years.


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