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Friday, March 24, 2023

Taste Off: Chichibu x Komagatake Malt Duo twice!

The Chichibu and Mars Shinshu distilleries did a fun thing, and I hope others will follow suit. Together they made a double malt (Chichibu + Komagatake), half was aged at Shinshu, half was aged at Chichibu, using the same mix of casks for the same amount of time. Two whiskies resulted.

I didn't even know this had happened until the opportunity arose for a double bottle split. Here are the stats:

Distilleries: Chichibu #1 and Mars Shinshu
Locations: Saitama Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture (right next to each other)
Owners: Venture Whisky and Hombo Shuzo Co. Ltd.
Age: allegedly around 5 years (2015 - 2021)
Maturation: bourbon, new US oak, and sherry casks
Outturn: 10000+ bottles and 10000+ bottles

(from a bottle split)

A Double Duo

Chichibu x Komagatake
aged at Chichibu
Komagatake x Chichibu
aged at Mars Shinshu
A fruity fruit nose! Kiwis, yuzus, orange blossoms, and plantains up top. Pineapple and cardamom pods underneath.It has a very malty nose. Lots of Irish soda bread and malt crackers. Some saline and menthol, hints of taffy and florals. Feisty!
The tart and tangy palate starts with limes + apples (tart), and pineapple + chiles (tangy). It gets sweeter with time, but is less sweet than its sibling.This one is a sweetie, with orange candy, barley, and "lemony heat" on the palate. Savory, salty, and yeasty hints arrive later.
It finishes tartly. Tart oranges and lemons. A bit of rosy florals.Barley, clementines, and yeast make up most of the finish, with truffle salt and lychee in the back.


I would never have guessed that these two whiskies had the same ingredients. The Chichibu-aged carries plenty of that distillery's fruity style, while the Shinshu-aged double has a more direct barley hit. Shinshu's edition reads younger, but it's not harsh. Chichibu's edition may have revealed one of their secrets......a magic warehouse stuffed to the walls with fruit peels? With sherry and new oak casks that barely make a peep, these are both very good whiskies, so good that elected not to add water.

Dear Whisky World, more of this please! Clynelish x Ben Nevis, anyone?

Chichibu x Komagatake (Ichiro's Malt Double Distilleries) - 88
Komagatake x Chichibu (Mars Whisky Malt Duo) - 86

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