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Secret stories about Japanese whisky : Yoichi distillery

This article is about Yoichi distillery(余市蒸溜所) in Hokkaido, Japan.
The owner is ‘Nikka whisky.’

This distillery is very important distiller historically for Japanese.



This photo is a warehouse of Yoichi distillery.

Who did found? 

Did you know ‘Masataka Taketsuru(竹鶴正孝)’?
His nickname is ‘Massan’.
Yoichi distillery was founded by Massan who is well-known as the father of Japanese whisky.

The story of founding became TV dramas.
And then, the demand for Japanese whisky became rising in Japan.

At the same time, Asia-especially Chains demand was rising.
As a result, Japanese whisky price has been raised.

He had learned whisky in Scotland when he was working for ‘Kotobukiya.

By the way, Kotobukiya is Suntory today.
Suntory is also huge whisky company.
They produce ‘Yamazaki whisky’, ‘Hakusyu whisky’.etc.

He had worked Kotobukiya but he was independent to make whisky by himself at 1934. It was his dream.

Finaly, he launched whisky distillery.
It is Nikka whisky today.

Have you ever seen following bottle of whisky?
This bottle of whisky’s name is “Taketsuru”(竹鶴).


(Quote from Wikipedia)


Taketsuru is vatted-molt whisky.
‘Yoichi whisky’ and ‘Miyagikyo whisky’ are mixed.
Nikka named it as ‘pure malt whisky’.

The smoky flavor and kinds of the vanilla flavor are mixed highly fantastic balance.
It means, it is not included grain whisky. 

There are many stories behind the success.
However, This article focuses on historical short stories.

I think I don’t have enough time to write all the story.
So I will try to write about it later…

The Story About Origin of Name ‘Nikka’

I would like to write a secret story about the name.
Did you know the story about the origin of the name?

It was concerning the start-up stage.

When they started distilled whisky, they couldn’t sell it.

Of course, the reason was just “the new pot“.
The new pot’ is just distilled whisky.
Whisky needs to be matured in the warehouse for some years.

I have the experience to drink a new pot.
It bit my tongue strongly.
I have never said it is a fantastic whisky.

Masataka Taketusu understood about it very well.
He had a plan to manage the plant in advance before whisky was started selling.

At first, he produced Apple juice.
He chose Yoichi city, Hokkaido to build a distillery.
One of the reasons was there were famous areas of the farm of Apple.

At this time, the company’s name is ‘Dai Nippon Kaju'(大日本果汁).

Today, the name of ‘Nikka’ is omitted name.

They dedicated to managing the company before whisky started selling.
According to TV dramas and books, they stayed very hard time.

Have you ever seen following character of ‘Nikka whisky’?

I would like to introduce a small secret.
I think it is not so famous in Japan.
(It meant you can know better than Japanese people!)

Could you imagine his job?
Did you think it is one of the ‘whisky kings’?



The answer is almost correct!
This character is king of BLENDER.

His left hand has malt and his right hand has a cup of whisky.

Following photo is taken at Susukino in Hokkaido which is one of the big cities in Japan.
Could you see the advertisement of Nikka?
It is well known in Japan.



However, almost Japanese don’t know his occupation.

By the way, Susukino has a good bar. I had visited one time.
I ate some kinds of special ram Japanese BBQ.
The name is ‘Jingisukan’.
It is also delicious as well.

I recommend it with beer if you will have a chance to visit there…After that, you can drink whisky in the bar. Fantastic!

Thank you for reading!
Next link is 2nd article about Yoichi distillery.
It forcus on “Pot still”.
Please enjoy it.
Secret stories about "Pot-still" of Yoichi distilleryThis article is about Yoichi distillery(余市蒸溜所) in Hokkaido, Japan. ...
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