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The Hakushu Heavily Peated Single Malt Whisky (2013 Release)

Only 3,000 bottles of this limited-edition whisky, which was made from heavily peated barley, will ever be made.

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In February 1899, Shinjiro Torii — the father of Japanese Whisky — opened a general store in Osaka, Japan that traded in imported wines. Within a decade, Torii began producing his own sweet grape wine called Akadama Port Wine, which became wildly popular throughout the country. Following the end of World War I, Torri — fascinated by whisky his entire life — decided to expand his business and began construction of the Yamazaki Distillery, Japan's first-ever whisky distillery.

Fifty years after the construction of Yamazaki Distillery, Keizo Saji inherited his father's vision and began construction of Suntory's second distillery. Although inspired by traditional Scottish distilleries, both Torii and Saji envisioned a uniquely Japanese approach to distilling whisky. As a result, the Hakushu Distillery is situated amidst the deep forests of Mount Kaikomagatake in Japan's southern Alps, and enjoys a unique microclimate as a result of being surrounded by nearly 6,000 varieties of plants and thousand-year-old granite rocks.

The Hakushu Heavily Peated Single Malt Whisky (2013 Release) is a heavily peated Japanese whisky made exclusively from malted barley. Once the barley has been malted, it is dried over a peat flame before the grains are milled and mashed with water sourced from the Ojira and Jingu Rivers (the water has a unique softness and purity, made possible by its filtration through the granite rocks of the Japanese Alps). Then, the grains are fermented by a unique strain of yeast (Hakushu Distillery has thousands of unique strains in its arsenal) in wooden washbacks. Despite the additional cost and labor required, wooden washbacks as compared to stainless steel washbacks take advantage of the distillery's unique location by incorporating naturally occurring lactic acid, bacteria and other microorganisms into the wash.

Following fermentation, the wash is distilled twice through Hakushu's copper-pot stills before the whisky is laid to rest in the distillery's warehouses. As a result of the heavy amount of peat used to dry the barley, together with the whisky's maturation in Japan's southern Alps, Hakushu Heavily Peated has a slightly briny aroma, with hints of smoke and sweet citrus. The aroma gives way to notes of brown sugar, black pepper, honey and caramel on the palate, complemented by a bold, peaty undertone. The finish is lingering, with hints of malt and sugar donuts. Only 3,000 bottles of Hakushu Heavily Peated Single Malt (2013 Release) have ever been made, and only a handful of bottles will be available in the United States.

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Briny aroma, with hints of smoke and sweet citrus. Notes of brown sugar, black pepper, honey and caramel on the palate, complemented by a bold, peaty undertone. Finish is lingering, with hints of malt and sugar donuts.

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