Heron Beverages is proud to announce our new partnership with Kyushu Spirits, a distillery located on Japan’s southern-most island. Characterised by majestic, natural beauty, Kyushu is the third largest island of Japan’s archipelago. Its bustling cities in the north-west are balanced by dense forests, national parks, and volcanic regions. The seismic activity in these areas creates natural mineral springs and soil that is rich in minerals. For these reasons, Kyushu has some of the finest farmland in Japan and therefore, access to the best, locally sourced ingredients.
The sub-tropical, humid climate catalyses the aging process inside the unique Mizunara oak barrels which add complex notes of coconut, spice, and incense to the whisky.
Genuine Japanese whisky distillation dates back to the mid nineteenth century when Commodore Matthew Perry was dispatched to Japan to secure new trading routes. This brought an end to the two-hundred-year-old isolation polices of the Tokugawa shogunate and at a celebratory banquet, the Japanese guests were introduced to Scottish whisky. With trade routes open to the West, Japan began to import beer, wine, and various spirits. Demand for these beverages grew so domestic production was implemented. Since then, the Japanese continue to receive wonderful acclaim for their range of single malt whiskies.
Asakura Premium Whisky pays homage to prominent physician and scientist Takamine Jokichi, who first advocated for the use of koji in American distilleries in the 19th century. Asakura is stored in white oak barrels for more than five years before being transferred into sherry casks for several years. Dark amber and distinctively smooth, Asakura Premium emanates notes of honey and vanilla with cinnamon and orange zest on the palate.
The Kyushu Cowboy is available in a series of different flavours, designed to represent the origin of their distillery. The lighter Inoue is made from local barley with understated combination of clove and nutmeg. The Shinozaki is fermented in charred oak barrels and holds a balance of vanilla, star anise and sweet, salted caramel. Finally, the Toyonaga Cowboy is crafted using rice instead of barley. This spirit has robust flavours of charred oak, marzipan, and cacao.
They aim to combine centuries of traditional customs with modern aging techniques to create a range of accessible and authentic Japanese spirits. Heron Beverages is excited to establish an excellent working relationship with Kyushu in the years to come.