Japanese Whisky – New Releases – Good News/Bad News

I wrote a little while back about the dearth of new releases of Japanese whisky in last half of this year. Well, apart from all those Karuizawa that have been ‘dropped’ by the cartel in selected markets at monster prices, yawn……………!
Anyway, rumor had it a while back that our friends at Mars Shinshu would release some bottling’s late 2013. Oh, you didn’t hear the rumors, sorry about that. Guess, what? One has ‘hit’, and I believe sold out already, Mars Komagatake 1988/2013 #555 46/700 18800yen with two more to follow that I know of: Komagatake 1988/2013 #569 sherry 59/750 21000yen and Komagatake 1989/2013 #619 american oak 59/750 18900yen. Prices may vary depending on the retailer. Now that is both exiting and worth celebrating. Hmmmm, except for the bad news. If your not in Japan you are unlikely to buy them or maybe even see them. TJWR, however, has managed to secure one or more bottles of all of these and will post some tasting notes at a later date. Friends in Japan, if you have a close relationship with your local liquor retailer, do your best to secure a bottle of two before they all sell out.

6 thoughts on “Japanese Whisky – New Releases – Good News/Bad News

  1. Brian, while on the topic of Mars they will also be putting out their Komagatake 10yo Wine Cask Finish. Unfortunately I did not go to Tokyo Whisky festival 2013 but my Japanese mates who did say said it is well worth it. It will be a few thousand more than the original and should be out in December. Also I have heard that the original 10yo Komagatake will be getting a bottle revamp. I’m guessing it will be the same bottles as all their new releases i.e Iwai Tradition Wine Cask Finish etc. As for their new single casks, if you check thoroughly on the net they still can be had…but yes…only if you are in Japan.

    • Will be interesting to see how that compares with the old Komagatake 10YO in the white porcelain bottle Clint. That one was fully sherry cask matured.

  2. I managed to score a bottle of the #555, which my brother is bringing to Australia early next month.
    I think it was a bit of a fluke that I got one – nonetheless I can’t wait to try it!

  3. I’ve tried both the #555 & #619.
    The #555 is intensely malty – it was made using Golden Promise barley.
    I’m not sure what this barley brings to the mix, but it is a lovely whisky.
    The #619 has firm oak & outstanding complexity & length. I think the oak would have been overpowering if this whisky had been bottled at 46%, but at cask strength this is a ripsnorter.
    I thought I had missed out on the sherry cask bottling, but I checked Claude Whiskies tonight & they had 1 left, so I snaffled it!

    • Thanks for the report Alan. I’m always confident about American White Oak Cask Mars bottling’s. The sherry cask is he one I’m most curious about as I’ve only had one so far from Mars that I’ve really liked. Glad you managed to pick one up.

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