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Hombo Shuzo Mars Shinshu "Iwai 45" Japanese Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1489122 90 points Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark Boosting the ABV gives this more versatility for whisky-based cocktails, but neat, there are aromas of honey, barley, exotic woods, ripening pear, box-fresh sneakers, citrus, and fruity acids, with the spices turned down low. A convoluted profile winds through vanilla, sugar cubes, and honey fudge, followed by pear, apricot, and a gentle crescendo of spice, before hitting a plateau of honey, breakfast cereal, nougat, and white chocolate to finish. *Best Value* (JM, Fall 2020) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

The history of the excellent Mars Distillery is long and complicated. The special stills that now sit at the high altitude distillery near Nagano were hand-built to the specifications of the preeminent grandfather of Japanese whisky, Masataka Taketsuru. In the 1950s, Taketsuru-san's mentor Iwai Kiichiro, who had commissioned his famed voyage to Scotland, designed and built two pot stills for Hombo Shuzo in Yamanashi using Takesturu's original specifications. The stills were moved to Kagoshima not long after production started and eventually moved again to Nagano in the early '80s. For another decade, Mars Whisky operated their old pot stills from their mountain home, but lackluster demand for whisky caused Hombo to cease operations completely at the plant in 1992. But renewed interest in the late '00s for Japanese whisky compelled the owners to relaunch the brand and recommission the old pots at Mars Shinshi in Nagano. Now Mars Whisky consists of two distilleries, this one and another at the Mars headquarters on Kumamoto called Tsunuki. Production is tiny compared to their next largest competitors, Suntory, and Nikka, but Mars' single malts have become renowned for their extremely high quality.

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Price: $32.99

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