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Japanese Whisky Dictionary

Yamazakura Blended Malt Japanese Whisky Sherrywood Reserve

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The Sasanokawa Brewery, famous for its Cherry Whisky, was part of the local whisky boom that was known as “Cherry in the North, Toa in the East, and Mars in the West” from 1975 to 1960.

In 2004, Mr. Ichiro Akuto, who was the president of Toa Shuzo at the time, asked Sasanokawa Shuzo to take care of the whiskey stored at the Hanyu distillery due to Toa Shuzo’s poor management. This whisky was later sold as “Ichirose Malt” .

The year 2004 was a time of sluggish demand for whiskey, a sort of ice age. I shudder to think that Toa Shuzo would have refused to store the malt.

After that, the relationship seems to have continued to the present, and several barrels of the original whisky distilled at the Chichibu distillery are still being matured at Sasanokawa Shuzo.


The Bottle

A blend of carefully selected domestic malt that we have been storing and maturing for some time and malt from the Asaka Distillery.

It is matured in sherry cask for about 18 months.
Blended Malt Japanese Whiskey.

It has a well-balanced sense of weight and a beautiful sweetness derived from sherry, with a long aftertaste.

Straight, on the rocks, or tossed up.
Recommended. Non-chill filtered, natural color finish.

Reference: from the back of the label



Aroma Sweet aroma of strawberry jam, savory cookies and banana.
Taste Grape tannins, spicy, woody and full-bodied

Black tea, tannin astringency changing to a sweet but spicy aftertaste like cinnamon



Alcohol content 50% 
alcohol category Blended Malt Japanese Whisky
Barrel type Bourbon barrels, sherry barrels, etc.
Contents 700ml
Number of bottles sold Limited to 440 bottles
Suggested retail price 27,500 yen (tax included)
Release date November 9, 2021



Our Take

A solid sense of maturity and a sense of ripe sherry are well matched. If I had to say, I would say that the sherry flavor is a little subdued, because the spicy flavor comes to the fore rather than the sweetness. It also has the richness of lactic acid fermentation, so I have the impression that it will get better with time after opening the bottle.


(All Images Courtesy of JPWhisky.net)


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