Pioneer of rare whisky Mars Shinshu Distillery (Honbo Shuzo Co. Ltd.,)

Pioneer of rare whisky
Mars Shinshu Distillery (Honbo Shuzo Co. Ltd.,)

Original Japan-made Whisky

A distillery located at the foot of Central Alps Komagatake. The founder of Mars Whisky, Kiichiro Iwai, sent Masataka Taketsuru (known as the father of Japanese whisky), to England, and using the information Taketsuru shared when he returned, succeeded in recreating the Scottish style single type distillation pot. It is the foundation of the taste of whisky produced today. The distillery now handles not just whiskies but also various kinds of alcoholic beverages, from wines and liqueurs.

Taste of whisky will vary according to the barrel

We were honored to have Director of Mars Shinshu Distillery, Takateru?Koki?(調べたが名前の読み方不明) Takehira guide us inside the barrel storage cellar. A strong scent of whisky fills the air of the dark cellar. Nakata asked ”The taste of wine differs by the barrel used for maturing. How about whisky?”. Takehira responded, ”We use Bourbon barrels here, but we also have new barrels and sherry barrels. Bourbon barrel produces a vanilla-like flavor. Whisky aged in sherry barrels have an aftertaste like ripe fruit or maple syrup”. They started using sherry barrels years ago when whisky was considered a luxurious item. Precious whisky was hidden in the barrels of sherry as a camouflage. As an unexpected result, the whisky became so flavorful that sherry barrels are now used widely.

Enjoying the fine craftsmanship of blended whisky

Whisky tasting. After maturation, different types of whiskies are mixed to create Blended Whisky. First Blended Whisky is ”Twin Alps”, 40% vol. ”Blenders will adjust alcohol content to the degree which brings out the best flavor” explained Takehira. ”I like the sweet aftertaste” Nakata commented. Next whisky is ”Iwai Tradition”40% vol. with an impressive sharp taste. It has a distinct whisky taste which is highly recommended for making ”highball”. Nakata praises the special ”Komagatake 30 yrs.”. ”The complexity of the blend gives it a soft, exquisite taste”. Takehira told us ”We want people to take time to enjoy the change of flavor as it blooms”.


Honbo Shuzo Co. Ltd.,
4752-31 Miyada Mura, Kamiina Gun, Nagano Prefecture