Hombo Shuzo, the company behind Mars Distillery, produces many kinds of alcoholic beverages at various places in Japan, including wine. It is therefore quite surprising how long it took them to conjure the idea to finish their whiskies using ex-red wine casks from their Chateau Mars winery in neighboring Yamanashi prefecture. For their first project in this field, they decided to use their blended whisky ‘Iwai Tradition’ and finish it for over the course of a year in ex-red wine casks.
The Shinshu Mars distillery is one of the highest distilleries in located Japan, sitting 2400 feet above sea level between the north and south Japanese alps in Miyata city in the Nagano prefecture. The small distillery is part of the Hombo Shuzo brewery in Kagoshima which has been distilling shochu for more than 100 years. They added whisky to their portfolio in 1949 and more recently wines.
Named after former head distiller Kiichiro Iwai (a bit of trivia: he was the first person assigned to set up Japan’s first distillery), the Iwai Tradition Wine Cask Finish whisky is a limited release.
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