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Inazuma Edition No. 3, A Blend of 3 Japanese Craft Whiskies - Eigashima, Saburomaru and Nagahama Distilleries

What you need to know:

  • The new No. 3 Inazuma releases will feature a blend of three Japanese craft whiskies - Eigashima Distillery (which produces Akashi whisky), Saburomaru Distillery and of course, Nagahama Distillery, who is doing the bottling.

  • There will be two iterations of the No. 3 instalment - a Japanese Blended Whisky (of just the three whiskies listed above), and a World Blended Whisky (which will include the three Japanese craft whiskies, as well as whiskies sourced from elsewhere).

  • Inazuma is a line of whiskies bottled by Nagahama Distillery (and parent, Roman Beer Brewery) which features the product of whisky swaps happening domestically in Japan.

  • The Japanese Blended will be purely a blended malt whisky, while the World Blended will be a blended malt and grain whisky, both bottled at 47% ABV.

  • The Japanese Blended will have an outturn of 600 bottles and be priced at 15,000 Yen or 118 USD, while the World Blended will have an outturn of 6,000 bottles and be priced at 6,900 Yen or 55 USD.

  • While 90% of whiskies distributed in Japan are blended whiskies, there are very few examples of blended Japanese whiskies, produced, aged and bottled in Japan (perhaps a popular example is Suntory's Hibiki), so this is quite at treat.

  • Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Cop-You-Know-Which-One

  

 

Inazuma is a line of whiskies bottled by Nagahama Distillery (and parent, Roman Beer Brewery) which features the product of whisky swaps happening domestically in Japan. While common in Scotland, the practice of whisky swapping (various distilleries exchanging whiskies with one another for each other's use), it is actually a very new phenomenon in Japan.

 

Some happy campers who've just gotten their hands on some new whiskies to play with. Featured are the distillers of the three Japanese craft distilleries. (Image Source: Roman Beer)

 

There's a great deal of history behind the reason why whisky swapping is a fairly new occurrence in Japan but it can quite simply be attributed to the fact that up until recently, the Japanese whisky landscape was dominated by a couple of giants (Suntory and Nikka) who had sufficient resources to distil a massive library of whisky styles and so don't really require any help from each other. The last 10 years has seen a huge burst of new craft distilleries in Japan, catalysed by the massive popularity of Japanese whiskies, many of which are still fairly small operations and so must form alliances in helping expand their whiskymaking capabilities. As the saying goes - no man is an island, unless you're Suntory.

You can read more about how the whisky swapping phenomenon has come about here.

 

The Japanese Blended Inazuma No. 3 (Image Source: Roman Beer)

 

The new Inazuma releases are No. 3 in the lineup and will feature a blend of three Japanese craft whiskies - Eigashima Distillery (which produces Akashi whisky), Saburomaru Distillery and of course, Nagahama Distillery, who is doing the bottling. There will be two iterations of the No. 3 instalment - a Japanese Blended Whisky (of just the three whiskies listed above), and a World Blended Whisky (which will include the three Japanese craft whiskies, as well as whiskies sourced from elsewhere).

The Japanese Blended will be purely a blended malt whisky, while the World Blended will be a blended malt and grain whisky, both bottled at 47% ABV.

The Japanese Blended will have an outturn of 600 bottles and be priced at 15,000 Yen or 118 USD, while the World Blended will have an outturn of 6,000 bottles and be priced at 6,900 Yen or 55 USD.

The bottles will be retailed via lottery. Find more details here.

  

The World Blended Inazuma No. 3 (Image Source: Roman Beer)

 

Our Take

According to Nagahama Distillery, about 90% of whiskies distributed in Japan are blended whiskies, which are a popular component of Highball cocktails that are super easy and light to consume during meals, and of course an exceptionally small amount of that are Japanese blended whiskies - whiskies produced, matured and bottled in Japan.

As mentioned earlier, the era of whisky swapping really only just started, and prior there was no need for any collaboration between the whisky giants, as such you wouldn't have seen much Japanese blended whiskies happening (perhaps a notable example is Suntory's Hibiki, which comprises of Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita whiskies that are all made, aged and bottled domestically).

This alone should tell you how rare (and somewhat groundbreaking) the No. 3 Inazuma is - and obviously all eyes are on the Japanese Blended edition of the new release.

More is to come surely, as one of the collaborators, Saburomaru Distillery, is also establishing the first independent bottler of Japanese whiskies, T & T Toyama, which is releasing the first all-Japanese blend comprising of five different Japanese craft whiskies, titled The Last Piece.


Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Cop-You-Know-Which-One

 

Kanpai!

 

 

@111hotpot