The moment many of us have been waiting for has finally been put into action. This morning, March 25, Akuto-san announced the release of two new Chichibu expressions to the portfolio of the distillery – Ichiro’s Malt Chibidaru (original quarter cask): outturn of 3,900 bottles and bottled at 53.5% abv, and the Port Pipe: outturn of 4,200 and bottled at 54.5% abv. These are very welcoming follow-ups to the distillery’s first three expressions (The First, The Floor Malted, and The Peated), and the beginning of this this year’s flourishment of new bottlings.
It is not official as to when these cask strength expressions will become available, however Akuto-san informs us it will not be too long and preparations are in action to get them out quick (I expect sometime April – could be wrong obviously). The retail price of both expressions, which were distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2013 will be on par with The Peated and The Floor Malted – going for 8,500 yen respectively (excluding tax).
The official bottlings of the Chibidaru and Port Pipe, although new, have been available in the past such as Shinanoya’s fifth anniversary private bottling and LMDW’s private bottling, as well as Sanyou Bussan’s Port Pipe private bottling (also, let’s not forget the prototypes at the distillery and various festivals), but these official distillery bottlings hold much more significance in my opinion. Expect these to go reasonably quick, like most bottlings these days, but especially these bearing the notion of “official bottlings” with a lesser outturn compared to its siblings – so get your order in. Stay tuned for more news and reviews in time to come.