Founded in 2017 by respected Shochu distillery Komasa Jyozo, Kanosuke exemplifies a new generation of Japanese whisky distillers. Situated along Fukiagehama Beach (the longest sand beach in Japan) in Kagoshima Prefecture, Konosuke is inspired by the idyllic views and fragrant sea breeze of the East China Sea. Founder, Yoshitsugu Komasa, strives to craft whisky equally as relaxing, leading to the distillery’s motto “Mellow Land, Mellow Whisky.”
Named for second-generation distiller Kanosuke Kosama, Kanosuke Distillery became operational in 2018, employing three Miyake copper pot stills, all with differing neck shapes and lyne arm angles that allow endless variation for layering and blending complex distillates. Though the sea along this dune-draped coast is calm in summertime, fierce winter winds create unique climate variations within the prefecture’s subtropical climate. Drastic seasonal temperature fluctuations form ideal whisky maturation conditions and the proximity to the coastal sea spray imbues these aging sticks with minerality and salinity.
As part of a growing wave of contemporary producers, Kanosuke Distillery is defining Japanese whisky in real time. It’s not often a whisky distiller’s new make is impressive enough to garner the hype and adulation Kanosuke has received, but the distillery has quickly established itself as a major global player with its “newborn” expressions. The highly anticipated release of Kanosuke’s first fully matured single malt in 2021 proved the whisky to be well worth the wait, instantly garnering top accolades and unassumingly demanding the attention of the global whisky community.