Final Ichiro’s Malt Card Bottlings

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of Ichiro Akuto’s now famous card series bottling’s of Hanyu. The last four ‘cards’ to make up the deck of 52 will go on sale at selected retailers in Japan on January the 2nd. Many readers will be aware that these are from casks that Akuto-san was able to salvage after his families company Toa Shuzo went bankrupt and stopped distilling whisky in the year 2000. This has duel significance. Over the last few years when the profile of Japanese whisky was on the rise, Akuto-san was able to capitalize on this and sell whisky that previously did not have a large enough market either domestically or internationally. We have now had the opportunity to savor many of these beauties that may well have been lost forever otherwise. This in turn helped Akuto-san start his own company Venture Whisky and the associated Chichibu Distillery which has already shown great promise.
This is not to say there won’t be anymore Ichiro’s bottling’s of Hanyu as there is still more stock. But it is the Card series that will be fondly remembered as the beginning of a Japanese whisky legend.

The details of the last 4 Cards are as follows.
Ichiro’s Malt 5 of Diamonds 2000-2012 1st Cask Hogshead 2nd Cask Oloroso Sherry Butt 57.7% abv approx. price Y8000
Ichiro’s Malt Ace of Clubs 2000-2012 1st Cask Hogshead 2nd Cask Mizunara(Japanese Oak)  Cask 59.4% abv approx. price Y8600
Ichiro’s Malt 7 of Spades 1990-2012 1st Cask Hogshead 2nd Cask Cognac 53.8% abv approx. price Y13500
Ichiro’s Malt 6 of Hearts 1991-2012 1st Cask Hogshead 2nd Cask American Oak Puncheon 57.9% abv approx. price Y11500

11 thoughts on “Final Ichiro’s Malt Card Bottlings

  1. Looking forward to your reviews, Brian. The card series were quite a clever way to attract interest in Hanyu malt, not that it needed it, the malt distilled at Hanyu was of top notch, hench the cult status and following the card series received. Will be interesting to see if another themed series comes out at one stage.

    • I thought about that Niels but jumped the gun anyway. Be just as happy if he did : ) Maybe a 27YO fully matured in a Mizunara(Japanese Oak) Cask or similar?

        • If he does they may well end up like the last one. In the hands of Shinanoya and sold out before they hit the shelves. Ichiro’s Malt the Game 3rd Edition Red Oak Cask. Already selling for 3+ times more than when released. Y30000+ for a 12 Year distilled in 2000.

          • I need to get Tsuyoshi to hold back a bottle of that stuff for me!

            Any way, thanks once more for the scoring of those mars casks on Nonjatta, still absolutely in love with the Limousin cask.
            If you’re ever at Mars, get a bottle of their cask 903 if it’s still around. Or ping me back around July 25 to pick one up and ship for you as thank you for your rates that prompted me to buy that mars bottle and visit the distillery 🙂

          • Seems I’ve not tried 903 Niels. Do you know what sort of cask it is from? Have 904, wonder how different they are. Look out for some notes here on a couple rare Mars I’ve had open for a couple of months. I love that distillery. I was tasting a couple of those 200ml American White Cask jobs they sell at the distillery last night. I thought them excellent when first opened but a year later they are even better. Being so small they have released some clangers, but when they get it right it’s as good as anything else from Japan in my opinion.

  2. Well, the label says 903 but the contents was from cask 904.
    So you’ve already tried that.

    Oh well 🙂

    I’ll look forward to your notes on the Mars bottles and continue preparing our distillery tour for July this year. Hope to catch all of em in one go (2 weeks) and I hope Akuto san will let the people coming along taste his 10K 33yo blend. As I loved that but will never be able to buy it 🙂
    If you need me to ship you something while I am in Japan, let me know.

    • Thanks very much Niels I will definitely place an order for some Taradeshi Genshu(distillery only) stuff. I’ll be there for WhiskyLive in April but only going to Yamazaki as will be with some other family members so it won’t all be about whisky(90% though) : )
      Picked up a bottle of 1986-2007 Single Cask Hanyu Hogshead 58% the other day for what I thought was a very reasonable price considering the age and provenance. Only 225 bottles.

    • Haven’t tried Pete. Not a fan of sherry cask finished Hanyu(5 of Diamonds), read sulphur so I didn’t buy a bottle. Still a good ‘investment’ though for those that do. The six of hearts is likely to be a treat one as I have only had good experiences with these types of cask from Hanyu.
      Keeping my bottles closed for a while.

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