The Akashi Meïsei, which translates roughly as 'celebrity' in Japanese, is a limited edition blended Japanese whisky made with 45% American oak matured single malt.
Eigashima Distillery, located in Akashi City near Kobe, Japan, is the country’s oldest and smallest whisky distillery, and perhaps its most mysterious as well. Founded in 1888, the distillery is best-known for its production of sake and shochu, two of Japan’s most popular spirits, and although technically able to produce whisky since 1919, Eigashima only began making whisky in 1984 when the company moved to its new “White Oak” facilities. White Oak made only blended whisky until 2007 when it started production on single malts.
Whisky production at Eigashima Distillery takes place only two months out of each year, with the rest of the time being devoted to sake and shochu production. This, combined with the fact that less than five employees handle all of Eigashima’s whisky production, makes the distillery’s signature Akashi White Oak Japanese Whisky some of the rarest in Japan, not to mention elsewhere around the world.
For their whisky production, Eigashima import selected barley and malts from Scotland and use a pot still refining method. After fermentation, the whisky is put in a large kettle where it is distilled by boiling. At first boiling the alcohol content reaches 30 percent. The whisky is then distilled again. Here the thick waste at bottom of the barrel is removed and only what remains is used. By now the alcohol content has reached 70 percent. The whisky at that point is colourless.
This colourless whisky is then stored in oak barrels and given time to ripen, during which it gains its amber colour and characteristic aroma. White Oak whisky is stored a minimum of three years and a maximum of eight years; the longer it is stored, the better the aroma.
Tasting Note: Classic American oak notes of vanilla and wood spices.