Akashi Japanese Blended Whisky is made by the White Oak Distillery otherwise known as the Eigashima Sake Brewing Co. which was founded in 1888. White Oak Distillery is located in the city of Akashi, in the Hyogo prefecture, a few miles away from Kobe in the south of the main island. It was the first Japanese distillery to be granted a proper whisky distillation license, back in 1919. Whisky distillation takes place once a year over a four-month period from April to July. A new distillery was built in 1984 with traditional copper pot stills and techniques mirror those of Scotch whisky production. The company remains as a family-run, craft distillery to this day. Akashi Japanese Blended Whisky is a blend of 30% malted barley and 70% grain whisky (some Japanese and some foreign) which is matured for a total of five years in oak (three years in Hogsheads and two years in white oak barrels).
Akashi Japanese Blended Whisky has been the subject of some controversy to say the least. This appears to derive from the fact that for the domestic market the whisky was a blend of malt whisky and molasses spirit (essentially a young rum) and was not therefore a proper whisky. Needless to say for export markets this is 100% whisky, otherwise it could not be labelled as such. Perhaps something was lost in translation at some point! A good value Japanese Blended whisky.