Ohishi is the closest distillery to the source of the Kuma River. The Kuma River is one of the 3 fastest flowing in Japan and is renowned for its superior water quality. The Ohishi Distillery is blessed with fertile Soil and clear underground water, elements of an environment in which it upholds tradition but is always open to experimenting with new approaches. They use 30% of rice grown in their own fields. It is “gohyakumanishi”( 5 million stones) rice. The gohyakumanishi rice is grown in Ubuyamamura using an organic farming method that involves the use of koi carp to control weeds in paddy fields). They combine it with a mochi rice from Kumamoto Prefecture as a main ingredient. With about 1200 Sherry and Brandy casks, Ohishi Distillery puts a lot of effort into maturing its products over a long period of time.
Awards & Reviews
SFWSC Best of Class 2020:
Single Grain Whisky – Ohishi 10 yr Old Brandy Cask Matured Japanese Whisky
Ohishi Brandy Cask Whisky is a marriage of just a few casks of whisky that have been matured in ex-brandy barrels. The brandy casks give an elegance of soft oak, vanilla, pineapple and a touch of oxidation and rancio that compliments the silkiness of the rice in a very complex manner.
Ohishi Single Sherry Cask Whisky distilled from rice and is matured fully in fresh Sherry Casks. Each cask is hand selected by the master distiller Oishi-san and represents the beauty of light and dark juxtaposition that is the soft silky texture of rice whisky synchronized with the massive sherry influence of the cask. Big raisins, figs, and oak spice cover the nose and palate. Like sherry cask scotch whisky, but uniquely its own in mouth feel and aroma.
More info at https://www.ohishiwhisky.com/
Ohishi Single Malt Whisky
Ohishi Port Cask – Allocated 867 bottles limited for this release. Tasting notes include: Hints of chocolate and port wine. More will be available in 2020. This was a test batch that turned out way better than expected.
Ohishi Islay Cask – This year’s version of Ohishi Islay Cask is 5 casks of Ohishi Sherry and 5 casks of Ohishi Brandy Casks finished for more than 1 year in ex-Islay (Bourbon) barrels. This edition is much meatier than the previous iteration. Age is 7 years old. Ohishi Sakura Cask –Ohishi Whisky that is finished in new locally-grown Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Casks for over 1 year. The Sakura cask gives it a slightly smokey note and rich flavor. Note: this is full Sakura cask, not just a barrel head.
Ohishi Sakura Cask – The Sakura (Cherry Blossom) is locally grown in Kumamoto close to the distillery.
The whisky is matured in Brandy and Sherry casks and then finished in the Sakura casks for at least one full year.
The Sakura gives a rich color and soft Oak spice influence to the whisky.
A great example of Japenese terroir, this whisky is made with locally grown rice, is locally distilled, matured, and finally finished in the locally grown Oak barrels.
Ohishi Whisky Tokubetsu Reserve 40.5% abv is a very special release of almost equal parts 27yr old (29%), 10yr old (35%), and 7yr old (36%) Ohishi Whisky Sherry Casks. The 27-year Ohishi Whisky provides the dark oak and the marks of old age, while the 7 and 10-year casks give a youthfulness and zest giving harmony and complexity to the final product. This release was limited to fewer than 1500 bottles worldwide. As if it were a true Japanese literary masterpiece, the gift box opens from left to right, opposite from Western whisky releases, just like a Japanese book. Awards: 93 Points by WhiskyAdvocate & 92 Points by Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Whiskey & Barrel Consumer Choice Awards 2020 – Consumer Choice Awards (Japanese Whisky Category)