The mountain town of Karuizawa is situated on a high plain at the base of active volcano, Mount Asama, in the heart of Japan’s mainland. In 1956, the wine and spirits giant, Daikoku Budoshu, expanded their already established empire there by building a distillery with the onus of producing a single malt to be utilised in the company’s blends. They christened it ‘Ocean’. 1958 saw a freer importation channel opening up for malt, and barley flowed into Japan from the UK. Karuizawa Factory, as it was then known, worked with Golden Promise barley (also famously used by Macallan), and matured their signature spirit in sherry casks, yet very little actually left the country, which in future would lend hugely to its collectability.
The distillery closed in 2000, this was distilled in 1981.
A remarkable release, which will no doubt surprise many that it even exists. The famous private collector Mahesh Patel purchased a prized sherry butt of this closed Japanese distillery, and bottled it in 2017. Although a few bottles may have been given away or sold privately.