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