Sandwiched between Japan’s soaring Southern Alps and the towering Central Alps and at just over 2,600 feet, Mars Shinshu is Japan’s highest whisky distillery. The Hombo family has been distilling shochu for more than a century and added whisky to their repertoire in 1949. Back then, the distillery was located in Kagoshima Prefecture on the southernmost island of Kyushu. In 1984, the Hombo clan moved the distillery to the idyllic alpine setting of Miyada village in southern Nagano Prefecture. They chose this site for its cool temperatures, which slow maturation, and the plentiful and soft granite-filtered, snowmelt-fed aquifers.
The IWAI 45 has nose of vanilla and butterscotch with hints of strawberry and stewed apple. Pleasant flavors of milk chocolate, quince and toffee lead to a long, lingering sweet finish. It is made with a majority of corn balanced with light malt aged in ex-bourbon barrels. Ideal for daily sipping, in a mint julep or an old fashioned. -Importer's Notes