Whisky, Sakura Cask, Ohishi Distillery
Ohishi Distillery was founded in 1872, and is located in the Southwest of Japan in a beautifully mountainous and scenic countryside. Ohishi sits near the tiny village of Mizukami, and is the closest distillery to the source of the Kuma River, one of the fastest flowing rivers in all of Japan, renowned and prized for its superior water quality. Ohishi has been a family business for five generations, primarily known for its sake & shochu production. Ohishi Whisky is distilled entirely from rice and aged in either Brandy or Sherry Casks. In order to ensure the quality of the spirit, the Master Distiller utilizes 30% estategrown grain for distillation, with the remaining 70% of rice (Mochi) coming from the surrounding Kumamoto prefecture. Weeds in the estate rice paddies are controlled by koi fish that swim about the grass and nibble the invasive plants. Varieties of estate-grown rice include Hino hikari, Mori no kuma-san, Yamada Nishiki, Gohyakumanishi (5 million stones) and Gin no Sato. Because of the rice’s efficient and subsequently clean fermentation, Ohishi uses a pot still made from stainless steel, as opposed to copper.
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This whisky is matured in brandy and sherry casks, then finished in a Sakura cask made from locally grown Sakura oak for at least 1 year. The Sakura imparts the whisky with a soft oak spice that speaks directly of the terroir of Kumamoto.