Single Malt Whisky, 'Komagatake Limited Edition 2020', Mars Shinshu
The Hombo family, founder of Mars, began producing shochu in 1909, expanding their portfolio over the years to eventually include their most popular product, whisky. They obtained their whisky license in 1949 with the help of their advisor, Mr. Kiichiro Iwai, a key player in the international rise of Japanese whisky.
Currently, Mars has two distilleries and an additional aging site. Mars Shinshu, the main distillery, is tucked away at 2,625 ft in the Nagano Alps, making it Japan’s highest whiskey distillery. Nagano’s heavy snowfall and temperate climate provide an abundance of soft and delicate glacier water for use in this dynamic range of both blended and single malt expressions.
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The label on the 2020 edition of the Komagatake Limited Series celebrates recent and substantial refurbishments made to Mars Shinshu, tucked in the Nagano Alps and opened nearly 40 years ago. This single malt whisky was aged over 3 years in sherry casks and a combination of new American oak casks and ex-bourbon barrels. The distiller’s tasting notes include prune, honey, and vanilla on the nose, with sweet orange on the palate underscored by cocoa powder; a delicious dram to mark the next leg of the Mars Shinshu whisky-making journey. Bottled at its cask strength of 50% ABV and non-chill filtered.