The Distiller’s Reserve is a new single malt from the Japanese distillery of Hakushu. The whisky has been constructed to showcase the qualities and characteristics of Hakushu’s young lightly peated single malts. These have been accentuated by blending with older heavily peated malt and aged (all of which are 18+ years old) American oak matured whisky. All the casks used have been hand selected by Shinji Fukuyo, who is only the fourth Chief Blender in owner Suntory’s 90 year history.
Hakushu is located on the slopes of Mount Kaikomagatake in the Yamanashi Prefecture, which lies to the northwest of Tokyo. It sits 700 metres (2,300 feet) above sea level. The location is reflected in the name, as Hakushu means ‘forest distillery’ in Japanese. As mentioned, it is owned and operated by Suntory and was opened in 1973, exactly 50 years after they opened their pioneering first distillery at Yamazaki. The current production capacity is three million litres per year. In addition, a new ‘experimental’ grain distillery has recently started operating on the site.
The Distiller’s Reserve joins the 12 years old expression to form a core range. They will be occasionally joined by limited editions, as has happened in the past. Suntory recommend drinking it neat or in a highball with ice and soda water. The Distiller’s Reserve is bottled at 43% ABV and will per bottle. It will be available very shortly in specialist whisky retailers.