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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Yoichi Japanese Whisky Distillery

Yoichi Distillery History


The distillery founded in 1934 by Masataka Takesuru is the furthest North of the Japanese distilleries located on the island of Hokkaido.


This is roughly the same latitude as Vladivostok and is to be found in a mountainous region. With mountains on three sides and the Sea of Japan on the forth it is stated that Takesuru selected the site for its comparable geography to Scotland. The area also had a supply of peat.


However the average winter temperature is several degrees colder and the summer are likewise several degrees hotter than the Scottish climate this would result in a speeded up maturation process, nevertheless the geography is the closest you can come to Scotland in Japan.


The distillery also continues to remain loyal to its Scottish traditions and has invested in pollution control so that it can still operate its coal-fired pot stills similar to those that Takesuru would have worked with during his time in Scotland


The distillery started production in 1936.


In 1940 the Nikka whisky is released as a blended whisky


During 1952 the company changes its name to the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co Ltd.


At some point in 1984 the “Hokkaido” 12 year old single malt is released.


2001 sees Nikka join the Asahi Brewery Group.


Yoichi Distillery Bottlings


Hokkaido 12 Year Old 43% ABV


Yoichi  No Age Statement 43%


Yoichi 10 Year Old 45% ABV


Yoichi 12 Year Old 45% ABV


Yoichi 12 Year Old Key Malts

(3 Bottlings - Woody & Vanillic. - Sherry & Sweet - Peaty & Salty,)


Yoichi 15 Year Old 45% ABV


Yoichi 20 Year Old 45% ABV


Yoichi Vintages  1986, 1987, 1988


Nikka Single cask various Vintages 1986,1987,1988,1990,1991


Genshu Single Cask 10 years old


Tasting Style

Yoichi produces rich, peaty and masculine malt. The whisky gets its distinct aroma and body from direct heating distillation, in which the pot stills are heated with finely powdered natural coal--the traditional method that is hardly ever used today, even in Scotland


Nikka Scotch Combination Whiskies.


There is a long-standing tradition with Japanese companies of not trading with their rival due to the company loyalty that is prevalent in Japan. This means instead of combing fellow Japanese whisky in blends Scottish whisky is often selected to make combination malts and blends.  


Nikka Pure Black Label 43% ABV


Nikka Pure Red Label 43% ABV


Nikka Pure White Label 43% ABV

Yoichi, Nikka Whisky Co. Hokkaido Plant,

7-6 Kurokawacho,

Yoichimachi, Yoichigun,

Hokkaido, Japan


Phone : +81 135 23 3131

Fax : +81 135 23 2202


Please Check with the distillery before travelling

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