Tag Archives: Shinanoya

Mr. Dopeman: Shinanoya’s 5th Anniversary Chichibu Bottling


*Image from Shinanoya’s Rakuten Site

Japan’s whisky retailer Shinanoya is quickly becoming my Mr. Dopeman by continuing to release tempting private bottling after tempting private bottling. Every time I hear about a new release from them I get the itch to pick it up. The private bottlings range from a 30 y/o Highland Park to this 3 year old Chichibu. This single cask Chichibu was aged in what Akuto San calls a chibidaru – which is a version of a quarter cask. However, the chibidaru is not constructed the same way as in Scotland. Instead of having less staves, the chibidaru staves are shortened to get to the smaller size.

This private Chichibu bottling comes in at 61%ABV with a price tag of 8,400 yen. You can order from Shinanoya here. I have not tried it, but Shinanoya does state on their site that they can ship to the US and Europe via DHL.


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Shinanoya Does It Again…

*Image taken from Shinanoya’s Facebook Page*

Well at least they are going to on July 26.  As we all know Karuizawa bottels are getting harder and harder to find these days.  And surprisingly even more so in Japan.  Shinanoya who’s The Game Hanyu bottling I loved is releasing their private cask bottling of Karuizawa on July 26.  You can get a preview taste of it at the Osaka Whisky Festival on July 15.

1995 Karuizawa 16 y/o 12,900 Yen
Shinanoya Private Cask 5th Anniversary
Japanese Wine Cask 69.3% ABV

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Hanyu “The Game” bottled for Shinanoya

*Image from Shinanoya’s Rakuten Site*

As you probably know already, Hanyu is one of the now silent Japanese distilleries. As the stocks dwindle away the demand rises accordingly. The majority of Hanyu expressions come in the form of the Ichiro’s Card Malt Series. A fun and often eclectic mix of different age statements and cask types are intermittently released by Ichiro Akuto. This Hanyu expression was specially bottled for one of Japan’s best whisky retailers – Shinanoya. This is the follow up from their first The Game bottling and it went fast. I believe it sold out in pre-order and didn’t even make it to the stores. Akuto-San played around with the finishing cask some by replacing the bourbon barrel heads with Mizunara heads. This means the original staves from the bourbon barrel remained the same but now some Mizunara wood was being integrated into the aging/finishing process with the heads (top and bottom of the cask) being replaced with Mizunara wood.

Hanyu The Game bottled for Shinanoya ~$85
Distilled:  2000
Bottled:   November 2011 @59.4% ABV
Cask:        No. 917 Mizunara Headed Hogshead
Bottle Number 37 of 309

Color: Medium yellow and gold
Nose: Big oily incense notes, sweet, cedar wood, earthy, each time I nose it there is something else, cola/soda, layers and layers of spice and fragrant wood, nutmeg, old wood furniture.
Mouth: Wow! – that about sums it up…An initial layer of natural sugar sweetness, followed up by the intense fragrant wood flavors, again layers of it, spices and a nice malty backbone.

With water
Nose:  Dustiness, same fragrant wood, a little sharper on the spices.
Mouth:  More on the malt, loses some of the fragrant wood/incense, heading more towards the familiar flavors of a Scottish Whisky now, drying.

Comments:  This is one of the better malts that I have had in recent memory.  A feisty youngin’ but with an amazing depth of flavor.  The touch of the Mizunara influence really added another dimension to this one.  I wish I was able to pick up more of this one.  – Chris


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Whisky World News

Win a Trip to Scotland from the Glenrothes:

The Glenrothes is launching the a brand new video to coincide with the second-annual Vintage Maker competition (running now till Jan 31). The Are You The 2012 Glenrothes Vintage Maker? video can be found here.

A little more about the competition:

The Glenrothes®, the preeminent vintage distilled single malt Scotch whisky, is launching its second annual Vintage Maker contest. This bespoke dram, which prides maturity over age, (you won’t find any pre-determined age statements here) wants you to recall and share a game-changing or halcyon moment in your life. The winners will be the entries that in the opinion of the judges best represent the definition of a Glenrothes vintage moment: a perfect combination of time, place, people and/or occasion when everything comes together to create a moment that will stay in the memory forever. . .

Four of the most compelling stories will be selected from the US and the winners will be flown to the Speyside region of Scotland – home of The Glenrothes – in May 2012. Alongside The Glenrothes Malt Master, Gordon Motion, the winning four will nose a wide gamut of whiskies, before selecting the best casks to be laid down for maturation, to eventually be bottled and released as The Glenrothes 2012 vintage. This year’s Vintage Maker contest follows hot on the heels of over 10,000 budding whisky makers entering last year’s draw.

Morrison Bowmore Distilleries Appoints Rachel Barrie As Master Blender:

Morrison Bowmore Distillers (MBD), one of the major names in Scotch Whisky and producers of Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen GariochSingle Malt Scotch Whiskies, announces the appointment of Rachel Barrie to the newly created position of Master Blender effective immediately. Barrie will also head up the company’s Spirit Quality Control and laboratory functions. She will join Morrison Bowmore’s Operational Senior Executive Group and report directly to Andrew Rankin, MBD Operations Director and Chief Blender. Barrie joins the company bringing a vast amount of knowledge and experience having served many years in a similar role within The Glenmorangie Company.

Commenting on the appointment Andrew Rankin says, “Rachel is one of the most experienced Master Blenders in our Industry and I am extremely delighted that she will be joining our team here at MBD. We have a very strong blending team within the company and this appointment will massively strengthen and reinforce our commitment to producing the ultimate in quality single malt Scotch whiskies.”

Another New Release of Hanyu:

Not that we are complaining! Following up on their very successful single cask bottling of the now extinct Hanyu distillery, the Game, Shinanoya is slated to release another single cask bottling. This release will also be called the Game – distilled in 2000 and bottled in November 2011 at 59.4%ABV, Mizunara Heads Hogshead Finish. Shinanoya is taking reservations/orders on January 26th. Like all Hanyu malts, jump on this as soon as possible if you have the chance.

Update: this bottle is now available for purchase here

Update to the update: sold out now. That was faster than I expected

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