A light, exceptionally floral Japanese Whisky aged in Brandy and Sherry casks, but finished in cherry wood.
If you look for the Ohishi Distillery on a map you’ll have a bit of trouble. That’s because this idyllic craft facility has been a Shochu Brewery from five generations, since 1872. But a generation or two ago they started aging their Shochu in premium casks to create southwestern Japan’s favorite Whiskey. And the location is important. It sits in the small village of Mizukami near the headwaters of the Kuma River. This is where they get the remarkably pure water that you can taste in all of their products.
Ohishi Sakura Cask Whisky is a rice-based Whisky made from local specialized varietals, including Gin no Sato, Hino Hikari, Mori no Kuma-san, Yamada Nishiki, and the remarkably difficult to pronounce Gohyakumanishi — most of which comes from the family estate. And while all of their Whiskies are aged in either Brandy or Sherry casks, what sets this dram apart is that it’s finished in Sakura — Japanese cherry wood. Japan is famous for their cherry trees and all the wood for the finishing casks is harvested locally. It’s also rather unique in that since the sulfur content of the rice is so low and the starches so pure, they do not need copper and therefore use a rare stainless steel pot still. It’s a delicious dram and worth a tray for all Whiskey fans.
"Shakura" is a Japanese word that means "cherry wood" or "cherry tree."