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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.
Akashi White Oak blended whisky produced for the Japanese market was made with the use of molasses spirit, which technically meant this could not be called whisky according to European law. For the needs of the European market, the recipe was changed to eliminate the unwanted ingredient.
Nose: Velvety smooth, with the notes of sponge cake, vanilla, dried and fresh fruit, mainly dried plums, citrus and cherries.
Palate: Light with honey and fruit sweetness to it – plums and candied citrus peel. Brown sugar syrup.
Finish: Not too long, sweet, with fruity flavours fading out.