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Artisanal Japanese distillery launches Hatozaki blended whiskies

A new Japanese whisky brand is hitting the market, bringing a 'welcome warmth of Japanese hospitality' for this year's festive period.

The Hatozaki whiskies have been made by master distiller and blender (or "toji") Kimio Yonezawa at his family's distillery in the port town of Akashi in south-west Japan.

Named after the town's lighthouse - the oldest in Japan, built in 1657 - the brand includes the Hatozaki Blended and Hatozaki Pure Malt. The lighthouse appears on the whisky bottles and their packaging is inspired by the intricate artistic coloured prints of the Edo period in Japan (1603-1867).

Hatozaki Blended is a mix of barrel-aged artisanal unpeated whiskies; the distillery team says it is light in style with delicate sweetness and a rich malty backbone.

Meanwhile Hatozaki Pure Malt is a blend of single malt whiskies aged in Bourbon, sherry and native Mizunara oak barrels for a minimum of five to six years. Each batch contains no more than 20 barrels and the liquid is not coloured or filtered.

Kimio Yonezawa said: "I wanted to make a whisky that embodies not only the warm, hospitable nature of Japanese people, but also Japan's mild maritime climate. Being an island, the ocean is very important to the Japanese; we even have our own Ocean Day to express gratitude for the blessings of the sea and wish prosperity for the oceanic country of Japan.

"So, the Hatozaki lighthouse, near our family's distillery, is the perfect symbol for our new artisan whiskies."

Hatozaki Pure Malt and Hatozaki Blended are available from Master of Malt, The Whisky Exchange, Ocado and Amazon.

15 October 2020 - Bethany Whymark