About Mars Shinshu The Lucky Cat "Hana" Blended Whisky
Mars Shinshu is Japan's highest whisky distillery, at 798 meters ― just over 2,600 feet ― nestled between Japan’s Southern and Central Alps. Mars Shinshu is owned by the Hombo family, who have been in the business of distillation for over a century.
Whisky became a part of the Mars Shinshu production lineup in 1949. In 1984, Shinshu decided to move their southernmost Kyushu distillery to the picturesque alpine Miyada village, where the high altitude and cool climate make for suitable conditions for whisky-making. The whisky is produced from mineral-rich waters that pass through granite rock.
This whisky is named after Kiichiro Iwai, known as "The Silent Pioneer of Japan Whisky," and the former mentor of Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka and Suntory Whisky. Iwai sent Taketsuru to Scotland to learn the art of whisky-making. Taketsuru returned to Japan, presenting a whisky-making report ― the Taketsuru Notes ― to Iwai. Taketsuru was the first Japanese to learn the art of whisky-making.
Mars Shinshu’s whiskies continue to be some of the most inexpensive Japanese whiskies on the market, and they are full of high-quality character and complex flavor. The Lucky Cat "Hana" is a blended whisky that is finished in Oloroso sherry casks and has pleasant aromas of brown sugar and maple syrup, while the palate has a soft sweetness that persists through the finish. It's named after one of 2 cat sisters, Hana and Chocolate, this one being the gentler of the two.
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About Japanese Whisky
Although maybe not be the first Spirit you would think of when Japan is mentioned; the Japanese make one of the best types of whisky in the world. It’s heavily influenced by scotch but with smoother and delicate notes.
The history of the Japanese whisky is not even a century old, but in this short time, the Japanese blended and single malts have taken over the world by storm and can easily go against their whisk(e)y counterparts from across the globe.
Check out our impressive selection of Japanese whiskies, find your new favorite in the best Japanese whiskies bottles under $200, or explore our treasury of rare & hard to find Japanese whiskies.