Beautiful Whisky… Grain, water, and time meet there… Upon Mount Fugi.
Whisky-lovers the world round will be forgiven if—when asked about Japanese Whiskey—their minds leap to the products of Suntory and Nikka. Those two are the Shogun and Samurai of the spirits business in Japan. But there are a handful of low-profile independents and craft producers carving out their respective niches. Monde Shuzuo is one of those, sitting at the base of Mount Fuji.
Monde started with traditional Japanese wines. But few cultures have embraced Whisky like the Japanese—and who can blame them. Monde branched out into distilling single-malt Whisky and has been quietly producing for decades. Other have purchased the aged spirit in bulk for blends and even to issue privately labeled single-malt labels. Now, Monde Shuzuo has partnered with international French distributor Les Whiskies du Monde to bring their small-batch range of agings and blends to a larger market.
In the wonderful, zen-minimalist language of Japan, Fugikai translates roughly as “assembly of the local people.” But it also has connotations of “flight, liberation, and escape.” And the distillery sits at the base of Mount Fugi in the ancient Kai Prefecture. Fugikai is almost a poem in a single word. Another thing … this production run is limited to 8,808 bottles. In Japanese culture, the number 8 represents “growing prosperous” is a steady and natural manner. Cool, right?
Anyway… Fujikai Japanese Whisky is made from locally produced, single-malt barley and aged in ex-Bourbon casks for 10 years in the temperate, humid climate of the Yamanashi District. Even though single-malt Whisky production world-wide has improved greatly in consistency and quality, we Whisky-lovers quietly wax nostalgic of the character and uniqueness that used to define each individual distillery and batch. Fujikai 10 YO Japanese Whisky takes us back to that time… and we are grateful.