Friday, November 9, 2012

Mars Distillery New Pot 2012 Release

The Mars distillery (Hombo Shinshu), which is located amongst the lush green forests of Kagoshima and situated in the Japanese Alps, retains the title of being Japan’s highest situated distillery in the midst of the nations handful of brands. The distillery, which resumed distillation in February 2011, a good nineteen years since its last distillation (1992), gave birth to some remarkable new make (new pot – Heavily and Lightly Peated) last year in the traditional Iwai-style: heavy and smoky.

This year welcomes the distillery’s second distillation that makes way for the release of a new heavily peated new make (new pot). Available in December, this new release has a phenol content of 50 PPM, that’s one and a half times more than last year’s distillation phenol content of 19 PPM. This new make is a tell tale sign of things to come (single malt whisky) and what the distillery is capable of. Hombo Shinshu gives an indication that this year’s new make (New Pot Heavily Peated) will be matured in Oak barrels for three years, something that we have seen a lot of lately with some fantastic results.

The Mars distillery’s New Pot Heavily Peated (9-months-old) that was distilled in March and bottled in November this year (2012) will be released December 3. It is bottled at 60% in a stylish 200ml decanter (similar to last year’s tasty treat) with an affordable retail price of 1,890 yen (in Japan). The bottle outrun has increased compared to last years release (864) to 1,100 bottles making it arguably very limited. Watch this space for details of where you can purchase the release in Kansai as well as news of other Mars new pot editions.


  1. Hi Clint,
    should be pretty big as the HP from last year was pretty pungent at 19PPM. Then again PPM isn't necessarily going to represent what the end result will taste like in the glass in my opinion.

    1. Hi Brian, the 2012 HP, is quite pungent. I tasted it at Whisky History, it was in a clean skin green bottle (sample bottle) with just 50PPM written on a white label. I didn't even consider that this was the "new product" at the time. I compared it with the 2011 HP, certainly a difference and not just the PPM's but the end result in the glass (well those small plastic cups that were used). Both versions (2011/2012) are lovely new make, I remember thinking that the 2012 HP was far from a 9 month old clear spirit, it was like a matured malt. I've never really got into new make...however, this is the exception. I've got my name down for this and look forward to sharing the experience.

  2. It appears this New Pot may make an appearance at the Whisky Featival Tokyo 2012 on December 2, the day before the official release in participating stockists. For those going to the festival this Heavily Peated New Pot at 50PPM is well worth it all.