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Japanese Whisky Dictionary

Single Malt Tsunuki THE FIRST

Article first published by our partner, Japanese Whisky Dictionary. Visit them here. Find the original article here.



In November 2016, Mars Tsunuki Distillery, the southernmost whiskey distillery on the mainland, was born.

The distillery is located on the east side of Mt. Kurata, and the whiskey is made from the high quality spring water of the mountain range, and is matured in an environment with a temperature difference between warm and cold, where the temperature drops to below zero in winter.

Single Malt Tsunuki THE FIRST” is the first single malt whisky to bear the name “Tsunuki” . It is characterized by its rich and heavy quality even in its short maturation period, taking advantage of the climate of Tsunuki, Kagoshima.


The Bottle

A powerful brew that takes advantage of the difference in temperature between the two basins.

“Single Malt Tsunuki THE FIRST” is the first single malt whisky to bear the name of “Tsunuki” , the place where Mars Tsunuki Distillery was founded. Although the climate is mild, the basin topography allows for a sharp difference in temperature, resulting in vigorous maturation. The heavy presence of the original malt is unique to the warm climate and temperature differences of Tsunuki.

Also, by adding a small amount of second-fill bourbon barrels as key malt, the barley flavor, richness of the mouthfeel, and lingering aftertaste derived from the original sake are added. This expresses the energy and depth of the deep original liquor that the Tsunuki distillery aims to produce.



Aroma Rich and elegant sweet aroma like vanilla and maple syrup.
Taste Sweet like a sweet potato. Fruity, spicy like chili pepper, and heavy.
Aftertaste A rich and delicate aftertaste that lasts for a long time.



Alcohol content 59%
alcohol category Single malt whisky
Barrel type Mainly bourbon barrels
Contents 700ml
Number of bottles sold Limited edition of 9,984 bottles
Suggested retail price 11,000 yen (tax included)
Release date April 27, 2020 (Monday)



Our Take

Tsunuki The First is characterized by its sweet and juicy drinkability, reminiscent of tropical fruits and maple syrup.

Mars Tsunuki Distillery will continue to check the maturation status and identify the type of matured barrels that go well together. Tsunuki THE FIRST has a well-balanced finish that is hard to believe after three years of aging, so I look forward to seeing what kind of whiskey will be released from Mars Tsunuki Distillery in the future.

We recommend drinking it straight, on the rocks or with water. The production has already ended, so if you are interested, please try it at our store!


All Images Courtesy of JPWhisky.net)


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