Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Exclusive Mars Single Casks for Shinanoya

While attempting to give my liver a very short break this week from the recent string of reviews (and the strain on my wallet for that matter from the flourish of recent bottle purchases), I thought it might be a good opportunity to take a look at technically two new releases. The information of these releases is certainly not hot of the press and the majority of you who are up-to-date already know of them, especially as they were officially announced by the retailer through their facebook page.

The retailer, which needs no introduction, is none other than Shinanoya - an establishment that has done wonders for the domestic industry. The 2 new releases that are available from September 12th were put away at some stage after bottling in 2004 (distilled 1992) only to see the light of day 9 years later. The “new” but “old” expressions adorn lovely Japanese labels representing “views of Edo” that will make any hardcore fan of this sort of thing excited. Cask# 1124 is from a Spanish sherry butt (275 bottles); while Cask# 1143 is an American oak barrel (358 bottles) and both contain spirit matured for 12-years. The distillery behind the production is Mars Hombo Shuzo - a distillery that has been in the limelight recently for all the good work it is doing. Both single cask malts are bottled at 43% abv and will retail for 7,580 yen respectively.

You may be thinking why the late introduction/post? Well, without intending to stir up a hornet’s nest, in fact quite the opposite really, I wanted to point out that these two releases sport the same cask numbers/cask types/distillation dates/bottling dates as that of ESPOA’s private single cask Mars bottling, which very few are aware of. What does this actually mean? Could it suggest that only a portion of ESPOA’s private bottling was labeled and made available, leaving the remaining volume left for whatever reason until now? Not to speculate or assume but as far as I know distilleries do not repeat cask numbers, therefore is this not the same whisky from the same cask? Now back to the point - regardless of the answers - if the whisky in the Shinanoya releases is the same as that of ESPOA’s then everyone is in for a real treat hence bringing up the matter. You will not be disappointed. I’ve sourced a few of the ESPOA bottlings for other enthusiasts as well as reviewing and owning Cask#1143 (here), lovely stuff. The Shinanoya releases will be gone in a flash so be sure to keep checking their hompage (here).

Image kindly borrowed from Shinanoya's facebook page

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