Ichiro's Malt 15 Year Old Final Vintage of Hanyu Single Malt Japanese Whisky
2000 was the last year that Hanyu Distillery produced anything. A sad loss indeed. Now their whiskies are snapped up on release by collectors or find their way on to the extensive whisky lists of top-flight restaurants. So, this bottling is a journey from the spirits world to the spirit world, and a chance to own a taste of history.
Distilled in 2000, The Last Vintage of Hanyu is a highly sought-after release from Ichiro Akuto. Only 3,710 bottles were released of this 15 Year Old, and they have rocketed in value as whisky connoisseurs seek to capture them. It’s an intriguing dram, with a distinct duality. On one hand, it’s all sweetness, with notes of bubble gum, marshmallow, candyfloss, cherry chocolate liqueurs, cinnamon bun, maple syrup, aniseed balls, vanilla, blueberries, melon, apple, nectarine and blood orange. But then there’s a dark side to it, with leather, moss, peat, damp earth, bitter dark chocolate, gamey meat, tobacco and an almost industrial oiliness. It’s a fascinating game of two halves. Harvey Nichols secured just one bottle and it won’t last long, because Single Malts from Hanyu’s final year never do.
Hanyu Distillery was founded in 1941 by a long line of sake producers. Originally located in Saitama prefecture, they began making whisky in the 1980s. However, it was mothballed in 2000 and then destroyed in 2004; a similar to fate to the other legendary Japanese distillery Karuizawa. Luckily, what remained of Hanyu’s whisky was saved by the founder’s grandson. And even more luckily, that grandson was Ichiro Akuto, formerly of Suntory, Karuizawa and BenRiach. Akuto set up his own distillery called Chichibu and continues to release extremely limited bottlings from Hanyu’s ever-dwindling reserve of casks. As these are finite, they’re highly coveted and demand is huge among its cult following. Stylistically, Hanyu will appeal to lovers of Speyside, particularly those partial to a gentle wisp of smoke and the influence of Sherry casks.
£314.29 per 100.00ml
SKU No.: 3589098
Style No.: 857162
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