The Hakushu 12 year old
The Hakushu distillery is situated in a forest and was once twice the size with an east and west distillery on the site. A perennial favourite and a must-try for anyone interested in discovering Japanese whisky.
Nose: Toasted barley, seed & nut loaf, chopped almonds and a little bit of barrel char. Hints of milk chocolate and dried grass bring sweetness.
Palate: Much more fruit on the palate. Still rich, herbaceous and grassy, with a waft of smoke along the way.
Finish: very enjoyable with orange peel and delicate sweetness.
The Hakushu Distillery
The Hakushu distillery was built in 1973 and is located in the foothills of Mount Kaikomagatake in the Yamanashi Prefecture. The first distillery had 24 stills in various shapes. The whisky supplied was only used for blending. However this distillery has been silent since the mid 1990‰Ûªs. A second distillery was built in 1981 called the Hakushu Higashi distillery and initially was treated as separate distillery to the original Hakushu. This 2nd distillery has now become the main Hakushu Distillery. The Hakushu Distillery elevation is 700 metres above sea level; this altitude creates a low pressure distillation effect. So distillation takes place at a lower temperature, this makes it more difficult for the more oilier heavier compounds with their higher boiling points to be distilled resulting in a lighter estery spirit. The new distillery has a traditional Mash turn with a cooper hood; wooden washbacks; the 12 stills are heated directly by coal fires. The stills in this distillery are smaller than the original lantern shaped pot stills in the old distillery and are in a variety of shapes sizes with different lyne arm configurations so to produce many different styles of spirit.
Hakushu Distillery has a visitor centre, shop and museum on site.