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Quick note: This is a malt and grain blend whiskey from Shinshu Mars Distillery, a very highly respectable Japanese producer, known for its "Iwai Tradition" style whiskies (more on that below). Though low ABV, this is a whisky with decent body and weight, and hence doesn't feel as low as 40%. An easy drinking Japanese whisky in our opinion, and a perfect introduction to traditional Japanese blended whiskies.
Fun fact: these guys are known equally for making whiskies during the winter as they are for their craft beers (at their sister facility, on the same premises - Minami Shinshu Brewery) the rest of the year. It's like Buffalo Trace making beer. Hey, there's an idea!
From the Producer: A pot still is a symbol of whisky making process. We cannot talk about the history of Mars Whisky without talking about the pot still. It is Mr Kiichiro Iwai that built the whisky brand of Hombo Brewing (Hombo Shuzo) as well as provided the whisky production instructions there. Mr Iwai is indeed a father of Mars whisky.
Shinshu Factory where Iwai Tradition is produced is located at an altitude of 798 km of the Komagatake Mountains, Central Alps of Japan. This terrain is an ideal place to produce whisky, where the air is pure, misty and cool, and the place is rich in good water recourses which are coming from 120 m under the granite ground.
This product in essence has fragrant flavors created in this blessed environment. It is a distinctively full bodied and mellow whisky.
Color: Vivid bright Gold
Palate: Great pleasant complexity created by vatting of various cask malts with peaty malts. As it is a full bodied whisky, its finish and thick & rich flavours are not lost when having it on the rock or as highballs. Every time you drink it, you will enjoy the harmony of well-balanced flavours.
Finish: Surprisingly soft and round, despite being categorized as a thick & rich whisky. Graceful flavours from the long maturing process. The finish is quite long with a crisp lingering flavour.
Gratitude and Homage to Mr Iwai-
After 50 years since Iwai pot stills were started in use, this blended whisky was made to pay homage to Kiichiro Iwai, Father of Mar whisky, with much gratitude. Great complexity with fragrant flavours. Soft and round yet full bodied and mellow. Please enjoy the flavour of a graceful, thick and rich whisky.
Quoted from the website of Hombo Shuzo
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