Mars Iwai Japanese Whisky 700ml
The Hombo family, owners of Mars Whisky, first took out a license to distil whisky in 1949, although it was not until 1960 that it started making whisky – and not in Kagoshima, but at a purpose built plant in Yamanashi. This was run by Kiichiro Iwai, who had been Masataka Taketsuru’s immediate superior at the turn of the century and who was responsible for sending Taketsuru to Scotland in 1919 to learn how whisky was produced. Both men had worked for a firm, Settsu Shozu, which had intended to build Japan’s first whisky distillery. Sadly when Taketsuru returned from Scotland, the firm was in administration. He went to join Yamazaki, founded Nikka, and the rest is history. Iwai was a whisky man too, and when the plant in Yamanashi started , Iwai used Taketsuru’s original report to make his whisky. It was unsurprisingly, heavy and smoky. Iwai was also responsible for the design of their pot stills and is considered a pioneer in the history and development of pot still whisky in Japan. He is one of only 4 Japanese, listed in the Top 100 most influential people in the history of whisky in the world. Yamanashi ran for nine years and when production there switched over to wine, distilling moved to Kagoshima, located in the south of Kyushu, where two tiny pot stills also made heavy smoky whisky. In 1984, production was switched to the current Mars site in Nagano high in the Japanese Alps, which had been chosen because of its altitude (to encourage slow maturation) and the availability of soft granite filtered water.
Each $99.99
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Region:
Nose:
Sweet with fruit flavors like pear, quince and hints of red fruits and vanilla.
Palate:
The Iwai is a malt and grain blend whiskey with elements of toasted nuts, soft honey, caramel, and sweet spice. Easy drinking and a perfect introduction to Japanese whiskies.
Varietal Composition:
Japanese Whisky