Eigashima Distillery (known as White Oak Distillery in Japan), located in Akashi near Kobe, Japan, is both the country’s oldest and smallest whisky distillery. Founded in 1888, the tiny distillery runs on a seven person operation! Akashi is a coastal town residing on the edge of Osaka Bay. Due to Akashi’s unique climate with extremely hot summers and cool winters, as much as 7%-8% of Eigashima’s maturing whisky may be lost to evaporation each year (opposed to the 2% commonly seen in Scotland). While this lowers still the overall production yield, it also acts as a catalyst for the maturation process, as the temperature swings encourage interaction between the whisky and the wood. As a result, Akashi White Oak Japanese Whisky has a malty, citrusy aroma with scents of black cherry, toffee and oak. This whisky is made with a variety of wheat, barley and rye with hints of subtle peat. Notes of vanilla and pine nuts dominate the palate, and lead to a long, malty finish. Excellent introduction to the Japanese whisky category, those looking for a segway into Scotch, or an every day drinking dram.
Nose: Buttered hot cross buns, chocolate peanuts, lemongrass and a light hint of spicy rye grain.
Palate: Cherry bakewells and walnut loaf. Sweet cereals with a dusting of nutmeg and black pepper.
Finish: Medium length. Quite sweet with dried apricot and a touch of oatcake.