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Eigashima Shuzo was founded in 1919, which could make it the oldest whisky company in Japan, older than Yamazaki (1923). However, Eigashima Shuzo is primarily a manufacturer of sake and shochu. Their first single malt whisky was launched only in 2007, nearly a century after the company was founded.
The White Oak Distillery, the one within Eigashima Shuzo dedicated to whisky production, was built in 1984 in Akashi in Hyogo Prefecture. Having experimented with various peating levels, the distillery now uses lightly peated malt (5 ppm). The whisky matures in on-site warehouses, on the shores of Akashi Strait, a stretch of water between the island of Honshu and Awaji.
White Oak Akashi 15yo matured for 12.5 years in ex-sherry casks, and was finished for 2.5 years in Japanese konara oak casks (Quercus serrata).
Nose: Clear sherry influences – dried plums, raisins, cough syrup. Earthy notes, eucalyptus.
Palate: Expressive, full of spice, hot. Lots of alcohol, oily, cacao, brandy.
Finish: Long, with notes of cherry in liqueur, citrus, cinnamon and ginger.