CHICHIBU Ichiro's Malt Wine Wood Reserve Japanese Blended Malt Whisky
Ichiro’s Malt Wine Wood Reserve was created by the maestro Ichiro Akuto the legendary whisky maker formerly of Hanyu and now at Chichibu. It was drawn from his incredibly rare stocks (mainly Chichibu but with an ever-dwindling amount of Hanyu and a little Scotch too) and it’s a blend of Japanese malt whiskies finished in wine casks. But these aren’t just any wine casks they’re Ovum casks – big egg-shaped barrels coopered in the Charentes region and much-loved in Bordeaux.
This unique whisky is incredibly wine-like or vinous as the snobs like to say. Notes of black cherry blackberries crème de cassis chocolate liquorice violets pepper cinnamon and Chinese five spice all bring jammy Bordeaux to mind while the toasted nuts and crème brûlée remind you that it is definitely a whisky and one of the highest order. Wine cask finishes can be tricky to pull off but you’re in safe hands with Ichiro Akuto’s masterpiece.
Chichibu is a modern legend founded in 2004 by Ichiro Akuto formerly of Suntory Karuizawa and BenRiach. In addition to an already impressive CV this man also rescued Hanyu Distillery’s last remaining casks (rumoured to be around 400 casks) propelling him into hero territory within the whisky world. Chichibu based in Saitama became operational in 2008 and produces malt whisky in tiny volumes but of exceptional quality. The attention to detail is phenomenal as illustrated by the fact the team travel to Norfolk every year to make their own malt and even cooper their own barrels and mizunara washbacks. Releases are snapped up by its cult following so anything you see available – such as this – represents a fleeting and intriguing opportunity. Something very special is happening at this young distillery – there’s a freedom and vibrancy rare in this industry – those who invest ahead of the curve will be mightily rewarded.
SKU No.: 3351612
Style No.: 850760
Alcohol by volume (ABV): 46.5%