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Japanese Whisky Dictionary

MARS The Y.A. #01

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MARS The Y. A.” was born as a new whiskey brand specializing in “Yakushima-aged malt whiskey”. 

It is made from malt distilled at the Mars Shinshu Distillery and the Mars Tsunuki Distillery. This blended malt whiskey is matured in the Yakushima Aging Cellar, which was newly established in June 2016 on the island of Yakushima, a World Natural Heritage site and the highest island in Kyushu, Miyanoura-dake, which is located approximately 60 km southwest of the Kagoshima mainland and is said to be the Alps floating above the sea. The “Yakushima Aging Cellar” is located in the Yakushima Densetsu Kan, a shochu brewery owned by Hombo Shuzo on Yakushima. It was built to store the original whiskey.

MARS The Y.A. #01″ is officially labeled as the first release, so it will be interesting to see how the series will develop in the future.


The Bottle

MARS The Y.A.” is a Japanese whiskey that has been matured in this unique environment. This first release is vatted mainly with malt whiskey distilled in Shinshu and Tsunuki and aged in bourbon barrels.

Enjoy a bottle with a fruity aroma reminiscent of the tropics and a flavor reminiscent of the sea breeze from the coast with its raised coral reefs on the east side of the cellar, and feel the uniqueness of Yakushima Island.

This product conforms to the “Japanese Whiskey Labeling Standards” of the Japan Western Whiskey Brewers Association.

Reference: MARS The Y.A. #01|Honbo Shuzo Co.



Aroma Tropical fruits, vanilla
Taste Honey, vanilla from bourbon barrels, almond aroma
Aftertaste Oaky sweetness, lemon, and a hint of tartness on the lingering finish



Alcohol Content 52% alcohol by volume
By Sake Blended Malt
Barrel type Bourbon barrels, etc.
Content Volume 700ml
Number of bottles sold Limited to 12,000 bottles
Suggested retail price 9,900 yen (tax included)
Release date Late June 2022



Our Take

If you want to enjoy the individuality of this whiskey, drink it straight, but this whiskey is also recommended with soda. The sweetness of honey, vanilla, a little bit of oak astringency, and a touch of saltiness give the whiskey a depth of flavor that is not simply an extension of what you get when drinking it straight.

As is true of all Hombo whiskies, the price of Hombo’s whisky is under 10,000 yen, while most Japanese whiskies nowadays are priced at 10,000 yen or more. And this quality. It must be the fruit of tireless corporate efforts. It is one of the distilleries that makes you want to support.


(All Images Courtesy of JPWhisky.net)


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