A unifying blend of 10 year old Chichibu, with select stocks of American, Canadian, Irish, and scotch whiskies matured in Japan, produces a nose of toffee apple, firm caramel, milk chocolate, ground hazelnut, roasted fennel seed, chopped cilantro stalks, green banana, and struck match. Cereal-led palate with Golden Grahams, light fruits of apricot, peach, and melon, base notes of pepper, moving through butterscotch, toffee, maple syrup, and crème caramel. (JM, fall 2020)
This unusual whisky takes advantage of Japan's relatively lax regulations for bottling "Japanese Whisky." In Japan, any whisky aged in Japan can be bottled as Japanese Whisky. Chichibu's owner and master distiller Ichiro Akuto travels the world acquiring barrels from every whisky producing nation. Those are shipped to his rack houses at Chichibu and aged for many years. He then makes a proprietary blend of the international whiskies and his own single malt and bottles it under the Chichibu "White Label". This special All-World blend consists of whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the United States all aged and blended at the Chichibu distillery in Saitama Prefecture. Ichiro san built the distillery in 2008 after making waves on the whisky scene selling stock from his family's previous distillery under the now famous Hanyu Card Series line. Using the proceeds from the sale of those casks to build a traditional single malt distillery, he is now making some of the finest pot stilled whisky anywhere in the world. The whiskies in this blend are aged between 4-8 years, but the quality of the wood and the blending results in a whisky that drinks at a much higher level. No one does it like Ichiro san. One of Japan's very best.
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