AKKESHI DISTILLERY

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Blending traditional Scottish methods and the unique essence of AkkeshiBlending traditional Scottish methods and the unique essence of Akkeshi

One of our unwavering principles is dedication to the traditional distilling methods of
Scotland.At the same time, we intend to make whisky that is unmistakably a product
of the distiller and its aging environment: Akkeshi, in the wild north of Japan.

Akkeshi, a Treasure Trove of Possibilities

In Akkeshi, on the Pacific coast of eastern Hokkaido, fog rolls in from the ocean over seemingly endless wetlands rich in peat. Its climate and terrain remind us of Scotland's Islay. The bogs hold abundant deposits of many varieties of peat. These produce different flavours depending on their degree of proximity to mountains or sea, enabling distillers to choose the peat they want for the whisky they aim to make. The environment could not be more suitable for whisky production.

Vast expanses of bog, shrouded in fog.

Akkeshi is also famed for its oysters, and is home to many dairy farms. This inspires us to pursue perfect partnerships between delicious food and beverages: whisky that matches perfectly with oysters, whisky that's divine with cheese. We also intend to find an ideal location in the community to cultivate barley, and create whisky that's "100% made in Akkeshi," from the raw ingredients to the peat. Akkeshi boast not only a similar climate and terrain to Scotland's Islay, it also has a treasure trove of whisky-making possibilities in its own right.

A few drops of whisky added to a raw oyster sitting on the shell. The flavour blends together in your mouth, instantly transporting you to the briny seashore.

Confirming the Akkeshi Flavour with Aged Test Batches

Since late 2013, we have been test-aging batches of raw spirits purchased from two existing distilleries in Japan. Akkeshi sees enormous temperature fluctuations over the course of a year, with the mercury dropping as low as –20°C in winter and hovering around 25°C in summer. This climate causes aging to progress faster than we originally expected, and the maturing whisky in the casks is gaining depth of flavour by the day. If the test batches we've aged thus far are any indication, the finished product will have a flavour that's distinctively Akkeshi.

Every Member of the Team
is a Whisky Enthusiast

Every Member of the Team Is a Whisky Enthusiast

One thing everyone working at Akkeshi Distillery shares is a boundless enthusiasm for whisky. We want to make something we'd love to drink. And we'll spare no effort in the process. Driven by the ambition "to craft a Japanese whisky that the whole world will love," we're devoting ourselves to making a whisky with a distinctive character that could only be made here in Akkeshi.

A Message from Representative Director
Keiichi Toita

I've been a whisky devotee since my youth, and over the years have tasted whisky from many different distilleries. In doing so, one thing I've discovered is that I can't get enough of Islay malts. That smoky flavour, which struck me as an odd note the first time I tried it, at some point became something I can't do without. I had a dream of someday crafting whisky with my own hands, and I knew it would have to be something like those Islay malts, made according to traditional Scottish methods.

Now that dream is on its way to becoming a reality, and the site we chose to construct our distillery is the town of Akkeshi, Hokkaido, with a climate and terrain very similar to those of Islay Island.
We are going to order all the equipment and facilities essential to whisky production from Scotland, including pot stills made by Forsyths. At the outset we will import the malt from Scotland as well, and make the whisky using the traditional methods of the motherland.
However, whisky is a mysterious and subtle thing. I'm certain that even when we use the same ingredients and equipment, and produce whisky in a place that resembles Islay in climate and terrain, we are going to end up with a flavour that's unmistakably Akkeshi. This is because of various elements that help to determine whisky's eventual flavour, including the action of microorganisms, the human element that goes into processes such as the middle cut, and the aging environment and length of aging.

Blending traditional Scottish methods and the unique flavour of Akkeshi. That's our goal at Akkeshi Distillery. An aroma and flavour like nothing found elsewhere. A whisky that will find favour in Europe and other countries around the world. Something authentic, which will delight whisky aficionados not only in Japan, but also in every corner of the globe.

We aim to craft a distinctive whisky that will have drinkers nosing and saying "Ah, the aroma of Akkeshi." Sipping, and saying "That's what they call the Akkeshi flavour."

We are on track to begin distilling in the autumn of 2016.
No one is more excited than me to taste the finished product. I think we have something in the works that whisky lovers far and wide can look forward to.

Keiichi Toita 
President and
Representative Director
Kenten Co., Ltd.

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Kenten Co., Ltd.

Akkeshi Distillery

2-109 Miyazono, Akkeshi-cho, Akkeshi-gun, Hokkaido 088-1124